I think there is a trend developing among Seth Moulton’s votes when it comes to protecting consumers and working Americans, and it’s not good.
Jonathan Cohn has done some amazing work breaking down recent amendment votes. One recent vote was on an amendment from Keith Ellison that would strip language from a bill relating to mobile home purchases. Manufactured homes are treated differently than traditional homes and the Republican bill would allow companies to charge very high interest rates on mobile home purchases (close to 14%). Ellison’s amendment would have retained consumer protections that apply to traditional home purchases to the manufactured home market. The amendment went down 163-245.
(Also look for very bad votes from Stephen Lynch among Cohn’s roundup. Those deserve their own post but I think most people here would agree that Lynch is often very bad.)
Moulton was one of 23 Democrats to join with Republicans to defeat Ellison’s consumer protection amendment. No other MA Dem joined with Moulton (neither did any Dem from New England).
Moulton gets a lot of press for his military service and his attacks on the Trump administration. That, plus his youth, looks, and his apparent “innovative” and “bi-partisan” approach has been enough to begin talk of higher office, including the White House. What doesn’t get a lot of press are these everyday small votes that make up a lot of a representative’s work and combine to have huge impacts on the lives of working Americans. Calling out the Trump administration as a MA representative is easy politically, and one would think so would standing on the side of the working class. In this instance Moulton chose not to stand with working Americans, and it’s not the first time he’s done this. He’s broken with Dems to loosen regulations protecting unsophisticated investors and to lessen the protections of Dodd-Frank.
I think these are the kinds of votes that should be highlighted here – they are the ones that should get attention, get people calling Congressional offices, and be remembered when an elected official asks for reelection or a promotion.
We’ve had many discussions here about the role of money in politics (right now there is one going on about Steve Mnuchin), and I think it’s important to look at these votes in the context of Moulton being the member of Congress to receive more money from Wall Street as a percentage of total donations than anyone else in Congress.