For the second time in as many weeks, Rep. Michele Bachmann has manufactured media events to tout her congressional support for local causes, when in fact, she has voted against funding for those causes.
On September 4, the Stillwater Republican was joined by Interior Department and U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Zimmerman where, her newsletter reported, “Congresswoman Bachmann and local volunteers from Friends of Sherburne NWR will present plans for a Discovery Center at the refuge.” Bachmann presented herself as an ardent supporter of the proposed $6 million center, posing for pictures out in the refuge alongside officials and a volunteer.
What Bachmann didn’t mention in her newsletter or to reporters covering the event was that last year she voted against the FY 2008 Appropriations Bill for the Interior Department, the funding bill for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which manages Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. She went even further and voted three times to cut funding for the agency. And Bachmann voted to strip funding for 11 individual projects in the bill—projects not unlike the refuge Discovery Center.
In addition to Bachmann’s antipathy toward funding the very agency that manages Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, Bachmann’s self-imposed pledge against seeking budget earmarks would appear to rule out that source for funding of the visitor center as well.
Sue Hix, president of Friends of Sherburne National Refuge, is spearheading the drive to build the new center.
“We’re planning on raising most of the money ourselves, ” says Hix. Despite Bachmann’s appearance at the refuge, and discussion of the need for federal funding for the center, she has committed to nothing at this point.
Bachmann also paid a visit to the HealthEast Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury recently where, according to the Woodbury Bulletin, “HealthEast wanted to thank the congresswoman for her support on the appropriations award funded through the Labor Health and Human Services and Education bill.”
But once again, Bachmann’s voting record belies her public statements of support. She repeatedly voted against the FY 2008 appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies. She voted to eliminate funding for a wide variety of individual items in that bill also. The appropriations bill passed but was vetoed by President Bush. Then Bachmann stood with the President and voted against the veto override attempt, which failed.