The HR3 Ten: Meet Nick Rahall of West Virginia


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.

Nick Rahall is the last but certainly not the least of the HR3 Ten. He’s a cosponsor of HR3 and HR358, and he represents West Virginia’s 3rd district. Before that, he represented West Virginia’s 4th district, but it was redistricted out of existence. Rahall’s been in Congress since 1977, and managed to hold his district even when McCain and Palin carried it in ’08–yes, he too was on Sarah Palin’s famous crosshairs map for daring to vote for health care reform. 

He appears to have a thing for grandiose bill names, as he’s introduced a bill called the Guardians of Freedom Act. That sounds exciting, but is actually a fairly mundane bit of legislation that would include the Chief of the National Guard Bureau as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it sounds cool!

He’s a cosponsor of the “Death Tax Repeal Act”, which should actually be called the “Make Sure Rich Kids Stay Rich Act,” but you know. Deficits! Look over there! 

And though Rahall is apparently not a climate change denier, he nevertheless doesn’t think we should do anything about it, as he cosponsors a bill that would:

“… amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.”

Rahall’s statement on his recent votes on pro-coal, anti-environment budget amendments also notes that he too has fallen prey to the red-baiting BS around “czars” in the Obama administration:

Also, the bill prohibits funding for the White House officials that coordinate health care and climate control policies across the Federal government, the so-called White House czars. We need to ensure that the statutory heads of agencies, whose actions are supposed to be open to public comment and review, are the ones making policy, and not some anonymous White House aide.

He’s also a cosponsor of the very life-affirming National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, which would ensure that you can carry your concealed weapon out of state. To protect life. Or something. 

And he believes in women’s history! Take the bone, ladies, and stop whining about wanting to control your own bodies. At least you can have your right to have a history! (So long as it doesn’t include sex. Sluts.) 

Interestingly, Rahall’s donations largely come from out of state–81% according to Influence Explorer. Most of it is union money, though–$573,800 from combined transportation unions. 

Perhaps it makes sense, then, that only 40% of his earmarks went into West Virginia. Several of them went to arts education and reading programs–so at least he does want to support the children he’d like to force you to give birth to. 

The National Journal says that Rahall is more economically liberal than 67% of Congress–which probably explains the heavy union support–but more socially conservative than 54% of Congress. 

He votes with his party 75% of the time, but once again (this is in fact a theme) the votes that he crosses the aisle on are sort of big ones: for PATRIOT Act extension, against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal, funding the war in Iraq without timelines for withdrawal, for a border fence, for estate tax repeal, for tax breaks for oil and gas companies, against stem cell research. 

Rahall is pushing for seniors on Social Security to continue to get a cost-of-living increase, which is a good thing, certainly. I don’t understand how one squares concern for the living conditions of seniors on a fixed income with a concern that the estate tax, which only hits the very rich, be repealed, but it’s OK. The money will come from somewhere to keep giving the rich tax cuts, right? 

I know, we’ll take it from Planned Parenthood! Heaven knows we can’t take it from NASCAR!

It’s OK, though, everyone. Bill Clinton says that Nick Rahall is a good guy! 

You can contact Nick Rahall and ask him why funding NASCAR is more important than funding Planned Parenthood at his website, or here:

2307 Rayburn HOB
Washington,DC 20515
(202) 225-3452

And as usual, you can ask the DCCC why it likes antichoice Dems like Daniel Lipinski better than it likes women.

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 the rest of the HR3 Ten here. Thanks for reading!

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