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Tags: mimi walters | house | republicans | freshman | leader

California's Mimi Walters Is Voice of House GOP Freshmen

By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2015 07:27 PM

Less than six months after she became the first female U.S. representative from Orange County, California (and only the eighth Republican woman to have served in the House from the Golden State), Mimi Walters has clearly emerged as a force among freshman lawmakers that GOP leaders listen to.

Walters, 52 and a mother of four, is the liaison of the 43 Republican House U.S. Representatives to the Speaker John Boehner and their fellow Members in the leadership hierarchy.

At a time when Republicans elected to the House in recent election cycles are increasingly conservative and very often political newcomers, Walters — who served in local office and both houses of the California state legislature — is the "go to" person for leadership on what the newer Members are thinking and doing.

"Each of us are elected by the American people and we have different constituencies," Walters told Newsmax, adding that she makes sure the views of each of her fellow freshmen get a hearing with Boehner and Company when she sits down with them every Monday.

But, the Californian quickly added that it was also important that freshman lawmakers maintain strong lines of communication with leadership. Any problems they have, she adds, "I make sure that leadership hears about it."

In contrast to some of her fellow "new kids on the block," Walters voted for and rounded up votes for Speaker Boehner’s re-election in January. In her words, "He’s got a very difficult job and we shouldn’t be fighting with him—only Barack Obama and the Democrats."

Recognizing that any truly conservative measure that emerges from the House and makes it through the Senate will be shot down with a presidential veto, Walters is nonetheless passionate about the importance of crafting and enacting positive legislation that conservatives can run on in 2016.

"Look, it would sure be great if some of the things we work on here are signed into law," she told us, "but as long as [Obama] is in the White House, we are essentially a captive audience. However, if we act on our agenda, the Republican Party will be seen as the forward-looking and creative party it is."

Among issues freshman lawmakers usually agree upon and are working on in this session of Congress are repeal of the Death Tax, alternatives to Obamacare, and what Walters calls "a common sense solution to the problem of illegal immigration."

"We can’t and aren’t going to deport the 11 million [illegal immigrants in the U.S.]," she said, "but we have to find a way to first secure the border and then do something over a period of time that will allow the 11 million to come out of the shadows, make restitution, and eventually have a pathway to legalization."

Walters added that this would almost certainly be done through incremental legislation rather than the "comprehensive" package that passed the Senate in the 113th Congress.

A graduate of UCLA and stockbroker by trade, the young Mimi Walters points to her days in student politics as a high school student in Orange County as the genesis of her interest in a career in public service.

Appointed to the local Banking and Finance Committee in her hometown of Laguna Niguel, she lost a bid for City Council by less than 700 votes to fellow Republican Tom Wilson. When Wilson was later appointed to a vacancy on the County Board of Supervisors, Walters won the vacancy he left on the Council.

She went on to win an open seat in the State Assembly over none other than old foe Wilson and, in 2008, moved on to the Senate. There, Walters more often than not clashed with liberal Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"When Congressman John Campbell was on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program [in June 2013], I learned five minutes before the show from [Orange County GOP Chairman] Scott Baugh that John was going to announce his retirement," she recalled, "As soon as the announcement was made, I made five phone calls, among them to [GOP Reps.] Ed Royce and Darrell Issa and to Jon Fleischman [longtime California conservative activist and editor of the highly influential "Flash Report" on-line newsletter]."

Within days, Walters had all of their support and went on to win the open House seat handsomely.

As one of only 23 Republican women in the House (compared to 88 on the Democratic side of the aisle), Walters is inevitably asked about what her party can do to attract more female voters.

"We need to get more women to run and not be intimidated by liberal Democratic women," she replied, without hesitation, "The Democrats are always using abortion as a wedge issue, claiming a war on women. It’s just not so, and in fact, the issue never came up when I was running. Fiscal issues are what dominated the campaign last year." (Walters is pro-life).

"And look," she said, "We got five new women elected to the House as conservative Republicans last year. And in '16, we need more."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Less than six months after she became the first female U.S. representative from Orange County, California (and only the eighth Republican woman to have served in the House from the Golden State), Mimi Walters has...
mimi walters, house, republicans, freshman, leader
Thursday, 16 April 2015 07:27 PM
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