Club For Growth Agrees – Rick Santorum Is Big Government Conservative

The conservative Club for Growth foundation released a statement today on Senator Rick Santorum’s economic record. The conservative group agrees the Pennsylvania Republican is mostly a big government Republica.
Club for Growth reported:

Claim: “You’re a big-government conservative.” (Source: Rep. Ron Paul on former Senator Rick Santorum, ABC News Debate, 1/7/11)

Club for Growth’s Verdict: Mostly True

Analysis: During a particularly touchy exchange at the ABC News debate, Paul attacked Santorum for being a “big-government, big spending individual.” To back up this claim, Paul offered four substantive examples: that Santorum voted to raise the nation’s debt limit five times, that Santorum voted against “right to work” laws, that he voted for No Child Left Behind, and that he voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit.

Research shows that all four substantive allegations against Santorum are true. Santorum did indeed vote to raise the debt limit five times. (Source: Senate Roll Call Vote #54, 2006; Senate Roll Call Vote #213, 2004; Senate Roll Call Vote #202, 2003; Senate Roll Call Vote #148, 2002; Senate Roll Call Vote #209. 1997)

The “right to work” vote Paul is referring to is a little-known 1996 cloture motion in the U.S. Senate. The vote was on a bill called the “National Right to Work Act of 1995” that would “amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act to repeal those provisions of Federal law that require employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, and for other purposes.” Santorum, along with all Democrats and liberal Republicans like Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Frank Murkowski of Alaska, and his fellow Pennsylvanian Arlen Specter all voted against cloture, which would have allowed a final vote on the bill. (Source: Senate Roll Call Vote #188, 1996)

Paul is also right that Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind, which massively expanded the role of the federal government in education. (Senate Roll Call Vote #371, 2001) Finally, Santorum did vote for the new Medicare drug entitlement in 2003 (Source: Senate Roll Call Vote #459, 2003)

More here.

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