The HR3 Ten: Meet Joe Donnelly: Not Quite as Big a D*** as Heath Shuler


Ten Democrats cosponsored H.R.3, even with language redefining rape; four of those ten also apparently don’t care if pregnant women die. Sarah Jaffe takes a closer look at all ten, find all posted to date here.

In the run-up to the 2010 election, Melinda Henneberger at Politics Daily wrote of Joe Donnelly: 

Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Donnelly and his Republican challenger in next month’s election, state Rep.Jackie Walorski, have a fair amount in common: Both are pro-gun, pro-life, and oppose climate change legislation, though it’s Donnelly who has been endorsed by the NRA, and he, too, who emphasizes his stand against illegal immigration. Both candidates are running against Nancy Pelosi and on Hoosier valueswhatever those might be

Despite running against his own party and its priorities, Joe Donnelly got $770,760.74 in DCCC expenditures in his race. Not bad, eh? Donnelly’s district was a “red to blue” target in 2006, and so the party kept pouring money in to keep him in it.

Molly McClure is from Donnelly’s district, and she notes that while Indiana as a whole is pretty conservative, it did vote for Obama in 2008–the first time a Democrat had taken the state since 1964 and Barry Goldwater’s epic loss. Obama took South Bend/St. Joseph County in ’08, but much of the rest of the district voted McCain. She notes that the district is heavily Catholic–in addition to Notre Dame, other Catholic schools are prominent in the area.

So during the 2010 campaign, Donnelly was running ads slagging his (female) Majority Leader at the time and his (black) president, notably over the issue of immigration. As Greg Sargent noted, he’s from Indiana–not exactly a contentious border state. Yet he couldn’t even bring himself to vote for the DREAM Act to give immigrant kids citizenship if they went to college or joined the military. 

And of course, as soon as the election was over, Donnelly didn’t hesitate to jump in for HR3. What better way to prove he’s still independent, right? Although he isn’t (as of yet) a cosponsor of HR358, that hardly makes him a feminist, eh? 

He did release this statement on the removal of “forcible” from HR3, but notably says nothing about the fact that he was willing to put his name on the bill as is (and, as of now, it still is).

“I welcome yesterday’s news that Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, the author of H.R. 3, is going to strike the word “forcible” from the bill,” said Donnelly. “Doing so will bring the bill’s language in line with the language of the Hyde Amendment, which has been the law of the land for 35 years. The intention of the bill, as originally drafted, was not to change existing law regarding the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion-related services in cases of rape. Rape is a violent and despicable act in every circumstance. It is my firm belief that our laws should always reflect that fact.”

His other priorities in the current Congress are, apparently, celebrating the goodness of our Catholic schools and the “Collectible Firearms Protection Act.” No word on whether he thinks people ought to be protected from collectible firearms, but he apparently thinks you should be able to import a lot of them.

His top earmarks are defense (obviously) as well as local transportation and a million bucks to his alma mater, Notre Dame. They’ve paid him back with $46,702 in campaign cash, as well. 

Donnelly is on the Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. He’s also on the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs,  Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs and the Subcommittee on Health. 

Donnelly is just fine with extending the PATRIOT Act and FISA, the Bush-era surveillance programs that have admittedly become slightly more bipartisan since Obama took office. He’s also voted with Republicans on war funding without benchmarks for withdrawal. 

He’s been squishy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, first voting against repeal “because the Pentagon study group was still working on its assessment of the impact of a possible lifting of the ban.” He did eventually call for repeal and vote for repeal. 

Donnelly appears to have gubernatorial ambitions–and so, apparently does Mike Pence. 

Unlike Critz and Shuler, Donnelly did not oppose health care reform and wasn’t on the original Stupak letter, though he did vote for the Stupak amendment and, Molly McClure notes, refuse to vote for health care until Obama committed to the executive order recodifying the Hyde amendment. He also did vote for the stimulus bill, making his claims of supporting “jobs and education” at least sort of valid. 

But then we have to ask–if jobs, the deficit, and education are the top priorities for Blue Dogs like Donnelly, why are they going along with a radical antichoice agenda that would deprive pregnant people of access to health care? 

You can ask him here or contact: 

1530 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3915
Fax: (202) 225-6798

And of course, ask the DCCC why they poured so much money into a Democrat who was running ads against them? 

430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003
Main Phone Number: (202) 863-1500 

While you’re at it, you can ask them why they’re only asking for $100,000 for “the DCCC’s Women’s Health Rapid Response Fund.”  Antichoice Dems are worth $3.4 million and women’s health is worth $100,000?

Meet Mike McIntyre next! Meet Heath Shuler and Mark Critz here

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To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • ldan

    As Greg Sargent noted, he’s from Indiana–not exactly a contentious border state.

    FWIW, I grew up just across the border in IL. Migrant workers then, and now, do come up seasonally to work. Over time, more and more of them have settled and stayed. The change has been very noticeable for someone like me who visits now and again and thinks “hey, that section of Mexican restaurants and car dealers with signs in English and Spanish just sort of popped up since I was here last.”

     

    I don’t know how many are there illegally (probably a miniscule number compared to border states), but the growing hispanic population has some people there freaked way out. It’s the second coming of the brown people (I grew up getting to hear about how much any area the ‘coloreds’ moved into went downhill).

     

    Which is all to say that I’m not even a little surprised that this DINO is anti-immigrant.