Rep. Paul Broun wants to be a senator, but the Georgia Republican’s far-right legislative record might make it difficult for him to prevail in a statewide race.
Particularly damaging for Broun, who is running in 2014 for a seat left open by Republican Saxby Chambliss’ retirement, could be his penchant for pushing amendments that are viewed as extreme, even by many in his own party.
The most recent example came this past week, when Broun offered an amendment to zero out the budget for the Transportation Security Administration at a time when Americans are concerned about unemployment numbers and airport security under the duress of the sequester. The proposal was offered during floor debate on a bill to fund Homeland Security operations for fiscal 2014.
“Congress intended for TSA to be an efficient, cutting-edge, intelligence-based agency responsible for protecting our airports … but today it has grown into one of the largest bureaucracies in the federal government,” Broun said on the House floor. He explained that the amendment would force “Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to start from scratch on a leaner, more effective … and more productive system for protecting our U.S. citizens.”
The amendment was rejected by voice vote, with even Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Carter, R-Texas, calling it “good grandstanding but bad policy.”