Rep. Zinke scores “A”, Conservative Review “F”

by Dr. Ed Berry

A few weeks ago, some conservatives sent me an email that claimed Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke failed to vote conservative on 5 of 9 issues. So I checked the source of these reviews.

The truth is Ryan Zinke scored conservative on all 9 of 9 issues, while Conservative Review (CR) scored conservative on only 4 of the 9 issues.

The CR Liberty Score reviewers just plain do not understand the politics they review. I am surprised anyone takes them seriously.

Here are the five issues where Zinke was right and CR’s Liberty Scores are wrong. 


Vote Result Date: 9/30/2015

CR:  No   –   Zinke Vote:  Yes

This vote was on final passage of a spending bill that fully funds Obama’s priorities, including abortion, until December 11, 2015.

This House bill included the Hyde amendment which banned any federal funding for abortions and included language to defund planned parenthood. Therefore, Zinke’s vote was conservative. However, the Senate did not take up this bill so the bill was of no consequence. Separately, Zinke voted to create a select committee to investigate planned parenthood’s actions. Ryan Zinke voted twice to defund planned parenthood, and he voted for the most pro-life legislation the House has ever passed, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks.


Vote Result Date: 6/18/2015

CR:  No    –   Zinke Vote:  Yes

This vote was on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). CR did not understand that this bill was critical for open government.

After Ryan Zinke successfully adding an amendment to create a “watchdog panel” to report back to Congress, then he voted for TPA. The reason TPA was critical is because TPA allows Congress and the public to review TPP. Had TPA then Obama would have been able to insert whatever he wanted and kept it top secret. Neither the public nor Congress could have reviewed what Obama might have added. Thanks to Zinke’s vote for TPA, the public will be able to review TPP for a minimum of 60 days before Congress votes on it.


Vote Result Date: 3/26/2015

CR:  No   –   Zinke Vote:  Yes

The Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act HR 2 replaces the Medicare payment system for health care providers, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).

This bill included included some very important Montana policy. It reauthorized Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding for two years. It helps rural communities that have experienced dramatic budget shortfalls since SRS funding expired on September 30, 2014. It includes structural improvements to Medicare for the first time in decades. It extends funding for community health centers for two years that was scheduled to expire in September 2015. These clinics serve over 10 percent of Montana’s population. HR 2 actually reduces the deficit over the long term and overwhelmingly passed the House with bipartisan support.

Rep. Zinke said:

“H.R. 2 is absolutely critical for public health and local economies in rural Montana, and it is my hope that the Senate will take swift action to pass it. I am proud Republicans and Democrats came together today to pass H.R. 2, which reauthorizes SRS funding and also extends funding for the community health care centers that rural Montanans rely on for quality and affordable care. This vote is proof Washington is fixable.”


Vote Result Date: 3/3/2015

CR:  Yes   –    Zinke Vote:  No

HR 240 was the FY 2015 Department of Homeland Security funding bill. CR incorrectly thinks this bill would have stopped funding for Obama’s executive amnesty.

Zinke voted twice against executive amnesty. Zinke was an early cosponsor of the bill to defund the President’s amnesty. Zinke continues to call for strengthened border security, including a double fence. HR 240 was a procedural vote to move forward a bill to provide temporary funding for DHS but it did not fund the President’s executive amnesty. That’s because a federal court decision had placed a hold on the program. After this HR 240 temporary bill, Zinke voted against the final DHS funding bill. Zinke has never voted to fund illegal amnesty.


Vote Result Date: 1/6/2015

CR:  Yes  –   Zinke Vote:  No

CR claims only 29 Republican votes for a candidate other than Boehner were needed to force a second ballot and a second ballot would have removed John Boehner from Speaker. CR is wrong.

The House votes for Speaker in alphabetical order. Rep. Zinke was the last to vote and the tally was between Boehner or Pelosi. While Zinke did not believe Boehner was perfect, he realized Boehner was a much better option than a Speaker Pelosi. When Zinke voted, Mr. Webster and Mr. Gohmert (who is a close friend of Zinke’s) had only received a handful of votes. A second ballot would not have resulted in Speaker Boehner’s removal because no other Speaker candidate except Ms. Pelosi was close Mr. Boehner’s support.


Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke voted the most conservative positions on these five issues. Reviewers for Conservative Review Liberty Score did not do their homework to understand these issues.

Conservative Review does a disservice to the conservative cause and to our good representatives.

Those who believe CR’s Liberty Scores do not help the conservative cause.

Follow Congressman Zinke on Twitter @RepRyanZinke

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