The George Sinner campaign has finally done something other than pick a goofy slogan (“A good Sinner? Was Sinner’s dad, the former Governor of North Dakota, a bad Sinner?). His campaign is hitting Cramer over…a slightly elevated number of missed votes?
Sinner is announcing a “No Work, No Pay” initiative in which members of Congress don’t get paid if they don’t work. Then Sinner blasts Cramer for continuing to collect his salary during the federal government shutdown and missing 5.6 percent of roll call votes in the House as compared to an average of 2.4 percent of missed votes for all House members.
“One of the most important lessons my dad [the bad Sinner?] taught me was that the work comes first,” Sinner said in a press release. “The work isn’t happening in Washington, and we see that in the frequency of Congressman Cramer’s missed votes. My goal is to change that. If the government shuts down, members won’t get paid. If a member misses votes for unexcused reasons, they don’t get paid. Period. It’s time to cut the perks, and get to work.”
What’s missing from Sinner’s announcement is what, specifically, he’s proposing in terms of policy. When will members of Congress not be able to get pay?
When they miss a vote? That might not be very good. Members of Congress often miss votes when they’re back in their states/districts for things like meetings with constituents (which Cramer does very often), and other events like hearings with federal officials. In fact, Cramer points out in this KFYR television article that half of his missed votes this year came when he was back in North Dakota meeting with the head of the US Forest Service.
Do we want to punish members of Congress for missing votes for important meetings with constituents and federal officials?
What’s more, Congress takes a lot of votes, and many of them aren’t very important. Can Sinner point to any really important votes Cramer missed, or did Cramer miss a bunch of votes on naming post offices?
For Cramer’s part, he sent out a press release blasting Sinner for thinking “the only role of North Dakota’s sole representative is to cast votes.”
“Unfortunately, George Sinner can’t find much to talk about besides where to live and how much to get paid,” Cramer says in the release. “While Sinner’s agenda is about showing up in Washington, my first term achieved a proven record of results representing the people of North Dakota. We have many big domestic and international issues to deal with. I certainly hope George Sinner gets serious about those.”
Here’s Cramer’s full release. Sinner’s is linked above.