Rep. Scott Perry says he's willing to vote against his party's leaders, but his voting record says something else.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) boasted in a local television interview on Sunday that he is part of a group of House Republicans that is brave enough to vote against his party's leadership. But since the start of this Congress, he has voted with Donald Trump more than 95% of the time.
Asked about his membership in the conservative Freedom Caucus, Perry explained that the group has two rules: Members must "be able to get to yes" on issues and "be willing to vote against your leadership."
"Often times, on either side of the aisle, leadership determines a lot of the votes," Perry told Harrisburg's WHTM. "And of course they have different levers of power to try and get you to vote the way they want you to. And if there is some strength and safety in numbers if you have to vote against your leadership for things you disagree with."
But Perry's votes have been solidly in lockstep with his party's leaders. Despite narrowly winning reelection in 2018 with just 51% of the vote, he has significantly increased his support for Trump in the current Congress; since last January, he has voted with the administration 95.5% of the time. In the last Congress, he voted with Trump 85.3% of the time.
This includes votes against popular legislation to let Medicare negotiate prescription lower drug prices, combat gender pay discrimination, expand background checks for gun purchases, and raise the minimum wage — each of which passed in the House with some Republican support and enjoys broad public backing.
Though Perry's loyalty to Trump has increased, Pennsylvanians' support for Trump has dropped. Trump carried the state in 2016, but a recent poll found just 44% of the state's voters approve of the job he's doing, compared to 52% disapproval.
Meanwhile, some of the things Perry has voted against along with his party are very popular in his home state.
Perry's record of voting with his party's leadership in this Congress actually puts him ahead of some of Trump's most vocal House defenders, including Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Elise Sefanik (R-NY).
Still, Perry tweeted out a link to the video of his interview on Sunday, noting "the duty of each Member of Congress to represent their constituents and not party leadership."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.