Chris Lee: Surprise, Surprise

15 Jan

Freshman Republican Chris Lee (NY-26) voted in favor of SCHIP, a program whereby the federal government funds state-administered programs providing health insurance to families that have children, and don’t make a lot of money, but too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Lee’s office released this statement, which I pick up via the Albany Project:

“I am proud to support legislation that strengthens SCHIP’s ability to provide children living in poverty with access to affordable health insurance. This program has a solid track record of covering children in families who don’t have enough resources to keep pace with the rising costs of health care.

“Ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly is one of my highest priorities, which is why I am pleased that this measure does not add to the federal budget deficit. At the same time, I have concerns about whether this legislation does enough to focus coverage to help children most in need. We cannot tolerate any loopholes or abuses, especially now in the middle of an economic crisis, when the situation for many families is dire. I hope the legislative process will yield a better final product that addresses these concerns and ensures that SCHIP continues to serve the needs of low-income children first.

“Today’s vote is a victory for Western New York families, but it is only a first step in our efforts to reform America’s broken health care system.”

I am proud to see that Congressman Lee has reversed Tom Reynolds’ vote on this issue, which is a lifesaver for working families throughout the district.

I won’t agree with Lee on everything, but this came as a very pleasant and welcome surprise, indeed.

33 Responses to “Chris Lee: Surprise, Surprise”

  1. mike hudson January 15, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    jon powers who?

  2. Russell January 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    BP, it’s nice to see a post patting a Republican on the back when you thought he actually deserved it. I’ve beaten you up a few times over your turning a blind eye to perceived good done by Republicans or the opposite for Democrats, so I felt I ought to say something positive when you did give proper credit. Thanks.

  3. The Humanist January 15, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Good for Chris Lee.

    If it’s rare to see a post by BP praising a Republican, it’s because, for the past 8+ years, there’s been little reason to praise Republicans as they fucked up our country royally.

  4. hank January 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    Chris did the right thing.

    I’d never get on here and support reynolds as he was just a RINO with a big mouth, and an embarassment not only to the Republican Party but to WNY as well.

    But I think his objection to SCHIP wasn’t the usual “republicans don’t care about kids without health insurance!” But as Chris mentioned in his statement


    The biggest at-risk segment is that strata that is between the non-working poor that have Medicare and the upper working class that does have health isurance.

    If bi-partisan, no-nonsense groups could sit down and identify the loopholes in medicaid, medicare, schip etc, and cut the loopholes,keep the fraud down to a minimum, it would cost even less for the government to help these people.

  5. The Wizard January 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    The Re-election campaign begins.

  6. buffalomom January 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Ummm, is he like Antoine Thompson voting on things he has no clue about??????

  7. lulu January 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Buffalo Mom – ummmm – is his support for SCHIP something that you agree with? If so, why? If not, why?

    I’ve seen on previous posts that this is a topic you are knowledgeable on and passionate about, so why not add something constructive to the conversation?

  8. Russell January 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    Of course, even though BP can show he has some class and will occasionally give credit where credit is due to a Republican, Humanist and buffalomom have to remind us they don’t have any.

  9. mike January 15, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    wait, did chris lee vote for this or was it just his haircut?

  10. buffalomom January 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    yup, i’m like school in summer.

    chris lee voted the right way on something? beginners luck? clueless as to his party’s distain for poor women and children?

    i’ll call it a fluke until he’s got a track record of not being a tom reynolds (pedophile protector) clone.

  11. Mike In WNY January 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    Chris Lee is now an official Rockefeller Republican voting for big government, ineffective and wasteful programs. He is a fraud since he campaigned on favoring a market-based approach to fixing the government screwed up health care system.

  12. Adam K. January 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    Rockefeller Republican?

    He died 30 years ago next week! How old do you think the average blog reader is?!?

    Hell, Sen. Jay Rockefeller is 71!

  13. Andy January 16, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    Sign of the political times. Ever GOP member from NYS (ok, there’s only 3 of them) voted in favor of this. Imagine — Republican elected officials who actually listen to their constituents. Who knew?

  14. Russell January 16, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    buffalomom, Chris Lee does not have to prove himself to you. He won the support of the majority of voters in his district and that’s all that mattered. On this question, he voted the way you and BP wanted him to vote. Get over yourself. If you can’t acknowledge and accept when someone actual does good in your eyes then you’re just making yourself look like a narrow-minded hack.

  15. Buffalopundit January 16, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Personally, I find the silence of Chris Lee’s biggest bloggy supporters – here, here, here, and here – quite interesting indeed.

  16. buffalomom January 16, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    @ russell – he has to prove himself everyday and every vote.

    what, after the campaign is done he gets a two year paid vacation?

  17. The Humanist January 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    @Russell – you must have skipped the opening sentence of my post where I said “Good for Chris Lee”

    Beyond that, what precisely would I give the Republicans credit for?

    Lying us into war?
    Transforming a budget surplus into a trillion dollar deficit?
    Failing to take suggested action to prevent the worst terrorist attack on US soil in our history?
    Ruining our name and reputation around the world through the use of torture?
    Letting New Orleans drown?
    The Terri Schiavo circus?
    Mark Foley, David Vitter, Larry Craig and all the other holier-than-thou GOP perverts?
    Ted Stevens, Tom Delay, Don Young, Duke Cunningham and all the other GOP crooks?
    Stripping governement agencies of oversight power, resulting in everything from food poisoning scares to mine collapses to the eventual global financial meltdown?
    Basically running the federal government for 6 years as what they purport to be…..anti-government zealots?
    Dick Cheney?
    George W. Bush, the least popular president in our nation’s history upon leaving office not named Nixon?

    Credit where credit is due. This is like the Detroit Lions crying for respect because at least none of their players shot themselves in the leg in a nightclub.

  18. Russell January 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    buffalomom, he has to prove himself everyday to his constituents, yes. But obviously with your closed-minded hackery, he’d be better served to ignore you and anyone else with your attitude. He only needs the support of the majority of the voters, which he had and which I’m sure he still has. If you’re never a part of that, it doesn’t matter. If you carry on like a whining child, even when he does good in your eyes, your opinion will never matter.

    Humanist, as loathe as I am to bring up a tired horse that Byron likes to beat on, I’m glad to see that in your statement against ALL Republicans you lump Mark Foley and Larry Craig. I know no one on here has ever tried to lump them onto all Republicans and you were quick to try to point that out. I’m told it’s such an outrageous claim to even think. And again, most of what you’re saying is generalizing. George W Bush and his administration were not the entire Republican Party. Plenty of Republicans have done great things, even in the past 8 years. Likewise, plenty of Democrats have done horrible things, even related to things you piled onto Republicans above. If you’re so prejudice you cannot separate individuals from a group or acknowledge good even in the midst of bad, you have a problem. Your list could easily be matched with comments against Democrats. It’s not as black and white as you seem to think. Perhaps it’s too much for your simple mind to get beyond anything more sophisticated than Democrat good, Republican bad. I love when the proponents of open-mindedness demonstrate so clearly how close-minded they really are.

  19. Byron January 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Russell, as usual I can’t tell exactly what you’re saying, but Humanist most certainly did NOT say that Foley and Craig are indicative of ALL Republicans, as opposed to including them in a list of CORRUPT Republicans (“Republican crooks”). I guess you’re going to continue to pretend that those two things are the same. Good for you.

    Saying that Foley and Craig are indicative of all Republicans is saying that all Republicans are corrupt. Even I don’t think that (you talk as if you did, but that’s another issue) – and I’d bet that Humanist doesn’t either, especially considering he just gave credit to Republican Chris Lee.

    But since it’s a dead horse, I for one won’t bring it up any more. I only did so before because it related to a larger issue.

  20. Russell January 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    In response to his own question about what he would give Republicans credit for he mentions Foley and Craig. That sure sounds like a connection between all Republicans and Foley and Craig to me. The fact that he felt compelled to bring it up on a thread about Chris Lee furthers the connection. The point that it’s his reaction to a seemingly completely unrelated point about acknowleding when Republicans do good makes it clear there’s a connection to all Republicans in his mind. If there is no connection, why bring it up? Perhaps you have such a hard time understanding me because you lack some logic skills. But I am glad to hear you’re finally getting over this.

  21. The Humanist January 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    @Russell – “Your list could easily be matched with comments against Democrats…”

    I’m sure it could

    Remind me again, which party controlled the White House and the Congress for most of 2001-2006?


    If you have a problem with me using “Republican” “Mark Foley” “Larry Craig” “perverts and crooks” in the same sentence, then I suggest you book a return flight back to reality. Not all Republicans are pervert crooks or incompentent clowns. Just the ones who have led the party into the electoral wilderness.

  22. Jim Ostrowski January 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm #

    I wasn’t surprised at all, having heard the liberal Chris Lee debate the liberal Kryzan.

    The whole notion that the Republican Party supports limited government or free markets is a gigantic hoax and fraud. It was founded by the progressive Lincoln, who gave us a whole new slew of government programs. No Republic administration (except Harding after a war), ever made government smaller.

    We have two liberal parties, the Dems and the me-too Republicans. Both are to blame for the current economic collapse.

  23. Starbuck January 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    ever made government smaller

    Smaller government relative to GDP, or smaller in absolute dollars?

    According to these authors on page 2, the three presidents during the 20th century during whose terms the greatest reduction in federal domestic spending occurred vs. GDP were FDR (-3.6%), Reagan (-2.0%), and Harding (-0.3%).

    Click to access pub_11.pdf

    They say the presidents when federal domestic spending vs GDP grew the fastest were Nixon (+5.0%), Hoover (+4.0%), and Eisenhower (+2.9%). All this ignores defense spending which probably shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s interesting.

    It seems to me that presidents shouldn’t be the main focus for blame or praise for spending anyway. Congresses write and pass budgets. Vetoes have less power, and Presidential-proposed budgets are “dead on arrival”.

  24. Hap Klein January 18, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    It is not rocket science to realize that the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Reynolds attitude of the triumph of Big Business is the vehicle to prosperity.

    I don’ even think Lee is as much an ideologue as he is pragmatic. The Republican party is not as stupid as their antics over the past decade indicates. They just allowed the right to morph the party into something disassociated from reality.

    By the next election the Republican Party will have transformed beyond our belief. They are certainly looking for a transfusion after the 2006 and 2008 debacles.

    Isn’t it ironic that the Party of Lincoln has been co-opted by Obama? Poliics remains the best spectator sport in America.

  25. Jim Ostrowski January 18, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    “Isn’t it ironic that the Party of Lincoln has been co-opted by Obama?”

    What’s the irony? Lincoln and Obama are both progressives, both believe that government is a force for good, that government can improve on laissez-faire. (Never had, never will.)

    Starbuck, your figures are largely consistent with my statement.

    And I LOVE this:

    “They say the presidents when federal domestic spending vs GDP grew the fastest were Nixon (+5.0%), Hoover (+4.0%), and Eisenhower (+2.9%).”

    In my book, I called Nixon an “economic liberal.”

    Real simple, pre-civil war, the Dems were the limited government party, the Whigs the big government party. The Reps. became Whigs on speed in 1861 and when the execrable Woody Wilson came along, we lost the party of limited government and haven’t had one since.

    Thus, all this talk about how Bush ended the era of free markets and laissez-faire is just so much Orwellian nonsense.

  26. Hap Klein January 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    I get uncomfortable with mixing eras and ideologies. Abolition might have been somewhat of a progressive concept if the term was available prior to reconstruction but Lincoln did not assess all the aspects of freed slaves as US citizens until well after 1862.

    I think the irony comes in when I hear the echos of Nixon, Reagan and the Bush’s boasting but not demonstrating they represent the Party of Lincoln. Obama appears to actually use Lincoln as a model.

    But I agree with Andrew Bacevich and think the modern era of the US government is tied to the growth of the National Security Apparatus rather than any political parties and ideologies.

    From the end of the Truman administration to the announcement of the Bush Doctrine of preemptive wars the Philosophy of Paul Nitzke has seized the government and delivered a warped republic rather than the robust democracy we pretend we are.

    Don’t even try to pretend 200 million people can be governed with limited government.

  27. Jim Ostrowski January 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    “I get uncomfortable with mixing eras and ideologies.”


    “Abolition might have been somewhat of a progressive concept if the term was available prior to reconstruction but Lincoln did not assess all the aspects of freed slaves as US citizens until well after 1862.”

    Lincoln was a racist who used the N word and who said he wanted the slaves sent back to Africa and who promised to protect slavery forever if the South remained in the union. I wasn’t talking about slavery but the income tax, paper money, pork and new government agencies.

    “I think the irony comes in when I hear the echos of Nixon, Reagan and the Bush’s boasting but not demonstrating they represent the Party of Lincoln. Obama appears to actually use Lincoln as a model.”

    But they did! Waterboarding, foreign wars for democracy, new spending programs, inflation, debt, taxes, higher tariffs, corporate welfare……

    “But I agree with Andrew Bacevich and think the modern era of the US government is tied to the growth of the National Security Apparatus rather than any political parties and ideologies.”

    Yes, Wilson got it started during WWI.

    “Don’t even try to pretend 200 million people can be governed with limited government.”

    That’s not an argument. In a free society, people govern themselves. Government of some sort is there when disputes arise. That would be limited government, not like making breakfast for your kids and other such nonsense. As all communist countries soon find out, it is the government, not the market, that is incapable of running things. Remember the lines to buy toilet paper in the Soviet Union?

  28. Starbuck January 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Jim, I agree it’s largely consistent with what you wrote, but found it interesting to see that domestic spending fell much more (vs GDP) under both FDR and Reagan than it did under Harding. FDR is especially surprising. For Reagan, it illustrates that government growth while he was president was due to the defense build up, for better or worse depending on one’s opinion of that.

    Considering Tip O’Neill, Jim Wright, and co ran the House during Reagan’s years, it’s impressive that domestic spending fell relative to GDP.

    I think most well-informed people are aware that Nixon’s policies leaned left. He proposed a lot of expansion in federal agencies and imposed the wage-price controls that failed so miserably.

  29. Christopher di Spirito January 18, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    Strange. I wonder how the Upstate righties will receive this vote?

  30. Hap Klein January 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm #

    I studied history many years ago under Mortimer Adler. He insisted that we can’t understand history under our terms but had to do original document research to understand the period of time in its own terms.

    We can grant similarities but must avoid categories that did not exist at the time.

    To attempt to apply progressive to anything prior to about 1875 could confuse the issues. Archetypal patterns do exist but until we have the term defined by the practitioners we must avoid connotations that endow early developments with definitions our time has developed. Eras and ideologies are like oil and water.

    As far as spending and government I think all of us should be sensitive to the issue of Polls and the Presidency. LBJ carried Poll results in his pocket and all since have attempted to bolster standing by dictating domestic policy based on the next election.

    In addition most domestic and non-defense spending is in such incredibly mixed projects that defining any as defense or non-defense is impossible.

    Be aware that 65% of all statistics are invented for the convenience of the presenter.

    The other 35% are inaccurate and biased. Especially when it comes to government programs.

  31. Jim Ostrowski January 18, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    My source on Lincoln being a progressive is a real expert on that subject, Teddy Roosevelt:

    “[I]n the days of Abraham Lincoln [the Republican party] was founded as the radical progressive party of the Nation. * * * It remained the Nationalist as against the particularist or State rights party, and in so far it remained absolutely sound; for little permanent good can be done by any party which worships the State’s rights fetish or which fails to regard the State, like the county or the municipality as merely a convenient unit for local self-government, while in all National matters, of importance to the whole people, the Nation is to be supreme over State, county, and town alike.

    “When I was inaugurated on March 4, 1905, I wore a ring [Lincoln’s secretary, John Hay] sent me the evening before, containing the hair of Abraham Lincoln.. . . I often thereafter told John Hay that when I wore such a ring on such an occasion I bound myself more than ever to treat the Constitution, after the manner of Abraham Lincoln, as a document which put human rights above property rights when the two conflicted.. . . . I believed in invoking the National power with absolute freedom for every National need. . . ”

    Pro-Lincoln historian James MacPherson believed that Lincoln wrote the “blueprint for modern America.”

    At least we know whom to blame for the current mess of modern America.

  32. Jim Ostrowski January 19, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    “Rockefeller Republican?

    “He died 30 years ago next week! How old do you think the average blog reader is?!?”

    I love that comment. Many young people today think the world began when they were born. Hence, the ignorance of history.


  1. The Buffalo Bean » NY-26: Chris Lee Votes to Reauthorize SCHIP - January 17, 2009

    […] Harding fails to understand (and Buffalo Pundit for that matter) is that this issue is not about voting party line or not. Republicans helped […]

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