As former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich prepares to address folks at the Montana Republican Party convention this weekend, below is information regarding the plethora of similarities between Gingrich and former congressman Rick Hill.
Background: Relationship Between Speaker Newt Gingrich and Congressman Rick Hill
The history between Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Rick Hill goes back to when Hill first became a member of the House of Representatives in the 90’s.
When Hill entered the House of Representatives, Gingrich served as Speaker, and they reportedly were close while serving together (1). In fact, Hill and Gingrich were so close that Hill was accused during his 1997 re-election campaign of selling his vote to make Newt Gingrich Speaker of the House again after Gingrich’s Committee donated $10,000 to Hill’s campaign (2). And, Congressman Hill voted for Newt Gingrich’s re-election for Speaker of the House despite accusations that Gingrich had made false and misleading statements to the House Ethics Committee in 1997 (3).
When Speaker Gingrich decided to step down from his position while embattled by controversy in November 1998, Hill told the Associated Press: “It's sad to see a friend step down (4)."
Two Peas in a Pod: Montanans Can’t Afford Policies of Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Hill
In addition to being friends, Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Hill can also be defined as “Two Peas in a Pod.” This statement holds true on several key policy issues that are wrong for hardworking Montanans, which include:
Ø Favor Implementation of a Sales Tax: In 1993, Rick Hill led the charge for a $400 million sales tax in Montana that would have raised prices on hardworking Montanans when purchasing groceries, trucks, guns, and even homes (5). Gingrich, while speaking on the House floor in 1987, spoke in favor of a sales tax that would have been implemented nationally (6).
Ø Oppose Increase in Minimum Wage: In 2000, Hill voted against increasing the minimum wage by $1 per hour – from $5.15 to $6.15 per hour – while in congress (7). During his failed presidential run, former Speaker Gingrich criticized his opponent for wanting to raise the minimum wage, and asserted that he would not be in favor of raising minimum wage (8).
Ø Support Cuts in Social Security and Medicare: In 1997, both Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Hill supported the FY 1998 budget that included a $115 billion dollar reduction in Medicare (9). In addition, Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Rick Hill both support privatizing social security (10) – in fact, Congressman Hill said that "entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are crippling America (11)."
Ø Voted Together More Than 90 Percent of the Time: In the 105th Congress, Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Hill voted together more than 90 percent of the time (12).
Ø Proponents of Allowing Insurance Companies to Discriminate Based on Gender: At a debate in April, Hill asserted that he would like to repeal a law that would effectively give insurance companies the right to discriminate based on gender (13). And, during his failed Presidential campaign former Speaker Gingrich supported allowing insurance companies to discriminate based on gender (14).
These facts, as well as others, clearly show that Speaker Gingrich and Congressman Hill equate to “Two Peas in a Pod,” and they both have the wrong priorities for Montana. And, we cannot afford to elect Rick Hill as the next Governor of our great state. Please let me know if you have any questions, and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
1. Associated Press. “Republicans Praise, Mourn Gingrich Decision.” November 6, 1998. Hyperlink: http://www.montanademocrats.org/node/373
2. Bulletin’s Frontrunner. January 9, 1997. Hyperlink: N/A.
3. Associated Press. “Hill Supports Re-election of Gingrich as Speaker of the House.” January 7, 1997. Hyperlink: http://www.montanademocrats.org/node/374
4. Associated Press. “Republicans Praise, Mourn Gingrich Decision.” November 6, 1998. Hyperlink: http://www.montanademocrats.org/node/373
5. AP. “Furor Over Sales Tax Abates, Bill Remains in Limbo.” April 15, 1993. Hyperlink: http://bit.ly/Nb2HLF
6. House Floor Speech. “Newt Gingrich Supported a National Sales Tax.” January 1987. Hyperlink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0qSFruA1i4
7. Associated Press. “House candidates in spotlight on barren election stage.” October 26, 1998. Hyperlink: http://www.montanademocrats.org/node/375
8. Forbes. “Romney vs. Gingrich on the Minimum Wage.” February 1, 2012. Hyperlink: http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/02/01/romney-vs-gingrich-on-the-minimum-wage/
9. HR 2015. Roll Call 241. June 25, 1997. Hyperlink: N/A
10. Associated Press. “Money Matters Dominate Final House Debate.” October 28, 1998. Hyperlink: http://www.montanademocrats.org/node/376
11. Associated Press. “Hill Touts Social Security Rescue Plan.” April 7, 1998. Hyperlink: http://www.montanademocrats.org/node/377
12. Helena Independent Record. October 15, 1996. Hyperlink: N/A
13. KXLH. “GOP candidates for MT Governor debate insurance issues.” April 19, 2012. Hyperlink: http://www.kxlh.com/news/gop-candidates-for-mt-governor-debate-insurance-issues/.
14. Huffington Post. “DNC Says GOP Candidates Would Let Health Companies Discriminate Against Women.” March 19, 2012. Hyperlink: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/dnc-gop-health-care-womens-health_n_1365381.html.
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