An annual list of how members of Congress stack up, ideologically speaking, has U.S. Rep. Mel Watt as the most liberal member of the state’s House delegation while U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry is the most conservative.
National Journal studied 97 roll-call votes that it used to establish where House members ranked in terms of how liberal or conservative they were.
Watt, a Charlotte Democrat, was among eight House members who were tied for the most liberal in the chamber. Watt was the 423rd most conservative House member.
McHenry, a Cherryville Republican, was the 17th most conservative member of the chamber and the 413th most liberal. Virginia Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican, was the 19th most conservative member and the 411th most liberal.
No other members of the state’s delegation cracked the top 20 as either conservative or liberal.
Not that this is exactly surprising, of course. Conservatives who have lived in his highly gerrymandered district know this all too well. Watt occupies one of those so-called “safe seats” because the district was drawn specifically over concerns that black people in North Carolina weren’t getting the best representation in the US Congress (which Watt has said in so many words that he agrees with), so the idea was to draw a district where primarly black Democrats could get elected over and over again. Mel Watt’s district is below:
Various Republicans have ran against the multi-term, Cuba-friendly House rep over the years, but they are obligatory runs done by independent types as they can’t count on any substantial support from official GOP sources because the GOP pretty much knows it would be like throwing money out the window.
Watt filed papers seeking re-election back on Feb. 12th. He has no opponent yet. His last opponent, Ty Cobb, was/is almost as liberal as Watt is. Suffice it to say that there will be no Scott Browns in this district anytime soon – if ever.
Just for grins and giggles, let’s look at what Rep. Watt said back in 2003 about a proposal by the Bush administration that the NYT described as “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago”:
”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”
Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.
”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.