God made them do it

Please call South Carolina Congressmen Jeff Duncan, Tim Scott and Mick Mulvaney and tell them that God did not tell them to oppose Speaker Boehner’s deficit reduction plan, Senator Reid’s plan or anything dealing with the fiscal integrity of our country. These gentlemen need to quit hiding behind God for their partisan decisions. I am quite confident that She doesn’t like it.


July 29, 2011
South Carolina vs. the world in House

By: Marin Cogan and Jonathan Allen

The delegation that prays together stays together — just ask South Carolina’s House Republicans, a bloc of five lawmakers that have proved some of the toughest votes to crack as GOP leaders push to flip votes for their deficit reduction package.

Early Thursday evening, three of the South Carolina freshmen — Jeff Duncan, Tim Scott and Mick Mulvaney — convened in a small chapel adjacent to the Capitol Rotunda to talk and pray about the vote.

Rep. Joe Wilson, the only senior colleague in the group, entered the speakers office around 6 p.m., around the same time Republicans were supposed to bring their bill to the House floor. The South Carolina freshmen were in and out of Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office throughout much of the night, as leaders tried to determine what, if anything, could be done to change their minds.

Scott emerged briefly before 10 p.m. to tell reporters he was still a no. Not long after, leadership canceled the vote for the night.

As freshmen members of Congress, the close ties among the South Carolina freshmen stand out. They regularly pray together and are in near constant communication with one another about their votes. They dine together on Capitol Hill and play basketball in the House gym. Two of them, Duncan and Scott, share an apartment.

Their bonds developed before they came to Washington. Duncan, Scott and Mulvaney served together in the state legislature and both Scott and Gowdy belonged to the South Carolina-based Liberty Fellowship before their election to Congress.

The freshmen are some of the most conservative members of their class—Mulvaney proposed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill two weeks ago to freeze defense spending at FY 2011 levels and was soundly defeated by members of his own party. Last month, he opened up to POLITICO about his delegation’s “South Carolina versus the world” mentality.

“I know it’s been frustrating to our leadership sometimes, because they look at South Carolina and say, ‘What are these crazy guys going to do now?’ But all we’re doing is being true to our state,” Mulvaney said.

Duncan said at that time that their leadership had “gotten the message very clearly early on from us. They know we’re going to talk; we’re going to try to be like-minded when it comes to representing South Carolina.”

The positions taken by Sen. Jim DeMint — a conservative powerhouse nationally and especially in the state — undoubtedly loom large over the House delegation. The House freshmen periodically put DeMint on conference call to seek his advice on votes. DeMint was a strong opponent of the Boehner plan, appearing at a Tea Party rally Wednesday to urge members of Congress to “hold the line” against any vote but the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan passed in the House. The four freshmen insisted they were “no” or “lean no” votes throughout the week.

Asked whether divine intervention might hit during prayer Thursday night, Scott said: “Divine inspiration already happened. I was a lean no, and now I’m a no.”

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