Tom Reed’s career in Congress

I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.–Richard Mourdock

When Tom Reed was first elected to Congress, he was a fiscal conservative. He predicted incessantly that government was at the brink of bankruptcy. He showed a chart of the national debt rising unceasingly. That didn’t last; perhaps a senior Republican explained why that tune wasn’t a winner.

For years Tom insisted Social Security was unsustainable unless benefits were cut.

In 2013, Rep. Reed joined “No Labels,” a bipartisan good government organization.  No Labels had twelve principles. In light of today’s politics, number 3 is astonishing.

  1. Automatic pay docking for Congress if the federal budget is not passed on time.
  2. An up-or-down vote on all presidential appointments within 90 days of their nomination.
  3. Changing the rules of the filibuster so as to make the process more difficult to accomplish
  4. Empower a “sensible majority.”
  5. A five-day workweek
  6. Institution of “Question Time”  between Congress and the President.
  7. An annual fiscal report delivered to a joint session of Congress.
  8. No pledge except the oath of office.
  9. Bipartisan monthly gatherings.
  10. Bipartisan seating.
  11. A Bipartisan Leadership Council.
  12. The banning of incumbents taking part in negative campaigns against other incumbents.

Later Tom, claiming to be a bipartisan hero, joined the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.

In 2014 Tom railed against the “status quo.” This term stood for anything Tom didn’t like:

In 2015, Tom proposed a “Defense of Property Act,” which would have paid owners of mineral rights such as himself for gas not produced due to the NYS ban on fracking. This idea was greeted with a storm of protest and went nowhere.

Also in 2015, Tom Reed proposed an answer to the high cost of college education: force institutions with large endowments to sell them to fund scholarships. He also suggested that teacher’s salaries should be cut.

Tom Reed backed tax reform which he claimed would benefit all Americans. When it turned out to mostly benefit the wealthy, Tom Reed fell silent.

Initially Tom backed Jeb Bush for President in 2016. When Bush dropped out he turned his allegiance to Trump who he said promised “disruption.” It still isn’t clear if the disruption of Jan. 5, 2021 is the disruption Tom sought.

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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