Remarkably, Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review authored an article, “Sali Charts Own Course in Congress which gives Rep. Bill Sali a fair assessment (hat tip to Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance).
Russell says Sali finds the Congressional system quite different from the Idaho legislature. He’s found that floor debate is meaningless, bills are “all or nothing” (no matter how many unrelated topics are included), and hearings nothing more than photo ops, with testimony by invitation only. Bill says most meaningful information is discussed “in committee work” and personal conversations.
Sali’s learning fast. While 85% of his votes have been along party lines, he has not hesitated to stray when he disagrees with GOP leadership. Sali says he’s “trying to keep us from spending our grandkids into bankruptcy”, a motivation that rings true with many voters.
Though he often breaks rank with veteran Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, Sali has found a number of like-minded congressmen. And while I tire of the reliance of many Idaho journalists on supposedly unbiased political science professors at state colleges and universities. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jim Weatherby of Boise State admits that many view Sali “as a principled maverick whose positions are gaining respect.”
We knew Bill Sali as a stand-firm conservative in the Idaho House, and should not be surprised that he is growing into a force to be reckoned with in Congress.
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