New GOP Congressman: Washington a Dysfunctional Mess

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Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 03:21 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Washington is "everything that you've heard, just a little bit worse," newly elected congressman Vance McAllister told his local Kiwanis club.

"It is truly a dysfunctional, disconnected mess up there," the Louisiana Republican said, according to his local News Star newspaper. "It blows my mind.

McAllister described himself as "an old country boy from north Louisiana that, you know, they hadn't taught me how to lie." He said that he tells his fellow colleagues what he thinks and what he believes.

McAllister, a political novice, won his seat in an upset on November 16. In a run-off, he defeated fellow Republican state Sen. Neal Riser to take the seat formerly held by the GOP's Rodney Alexander. He credited his friendship with the "Duck Dynasty" television family for helping give him victory.

The father-of-five told the Monroe Kiwanis in his Louisiana district that Republicans spend too much time fighting amongst themselves, saying, "The Republican party is a little bit worse than the Democrats . . . I respect the liberal party for one thing — they stick together, right or wrong."

He described the different factions within his party as "the moderates, conservatives and the far, far, far right."

He said that while he agrees in principle with a lot of what the far right wants, he said that he's "a realist too."

McAllister had his first big vote on the budget-deal compromise, which he supported. He described a conversation he had with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in which he explained to them why he was going to vote for the measure.

"Look, it's a drop in the bucket," McAllister said he told the three House leaders. "'But you never fill up a bucket without the first drop.'"

He said that they loved how he articulated his position and "they went on TV that night and said it."

But he said his country ways don't always go down well. During his first meeting with Boehner he started chewing tobacco as Boehner chain smoked. " One of his people said, 'I've never seen a congressman do that before.' I told him I wasn't going to spit on the speaker's floor, but I'm having to breathe his smoke. Boehner laughed out loud."

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