As envisioned by our Founding Fathers, the U.S. House of Representatives was meant to most directly embody the interests of the people. Currently, our portion of central Pennsylvania, the 9th District, is represented in the House by Bill Shuster.
But does Rep. Shuster really embody our interests and values?
The Cook Partisan Voter Index (PVI) measures how each congressional district votes compared to the nation as a whole. By PVI, the 9th District is rated as the most conservative district in Pennsylvania. So, if our Founding Fathers' vision holds true, our representative should be very conservative as well.
In reality, Rep. Shuster is ranked 159th by the Club for Growth and gets a below average score for a House Republican on the Heritage Action Scorecard. In addition to these ratings, Shuster has not stood with conservatives on votes for the debt ceiling deal, the Ryan-Murray Budget, or the $1.1 trillion Omnibus bill.
Consistently, Shuster has sided with the big spending, Washington-based solution to problems. The Huffington Post (in a Jan. 13 story) applauded Shuster's efforts, as chairman of the Transportation Committee, to "expand the federal government's role in [transportation] projects."
Also, he has not shown support for allowing the Wind Production Tax Credit, which has subsidized wind energy for 20 years, to expire. Despite only providing 2.3 percent of our electricity, wind energy is currently subsidized 82 times more than coal.
In fairness, Shuster should have an opportunity to refute the perception that his values don't match the conservative values of the 9th District. He should welcome a chance to address his constituents, along with his challengers, and defend his positions.
If you agree, please urge Shuster to attend the debate organized by the Blair County Tea Party by contacting his office at (202) 225-2431 or (814) 696-0225.