Just one day after state Rep. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) announced his primary campaign challenge to ‘Never Trumper’ U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade), one of Rep. Lower’s most conservative colleagues, Rep. John Reilly (R-Oakland) gave strong praise for Lower on the House Floor as well as on Facebook.
The remarks from Reilly carry some significance because he shares much in common with Amash. Like Amash, Reilly is one of only a few lawmakers to post explanations for each of his votes on Facebook. And Reilly often votes against the majority of his own party when he feels it violates his liberty-oriented principles.
According to various scorecards at MichiganVotes.org, Reilly has one of the most conservative voting records of any of his colleagues.
Yet Reilly saluted Lower the very day after the Congressman announced his bid to unseat Amash on the occasion of Reilly’s first bill of the year passing the House.
“This common sense bipartisan legislation has faced surprising hurdles at every step, but throughout the process, Local Government Chairman Representative Jim Lower helped move this legislation forward to do the right thing for these needy children,” Rep. Reilly posted on Facebook. “Thank you Representative Lower for your hard work and support for this bill.”
Reilly’s legislation, which would increase the number of children permitted in foster homes located on large properties of 20 acres or more from 6 to 10, had passed Lower’s committee last year, but was vetoed by then-Governor Rick Snyder. Rep. Reilly re-introduced the bill, which was referred again to Lower’s committee. After passing in the Local Government Committee, the bill was re-referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, where Lower testified in support of the bill alongside Reilly. The bill then passed that committee unanimously.
It is therefore possible that Reilly was simply thanking his colleague for his support of the bill. However, given that Lower announced his candidacy just the day before, Reilly may have went out of his way to signal his support for Lower. Reilly’s office declined to comment.
It is worth nothing that Reilly is an outspoken Trump supporter, for his nationalist ‘America First’ economic policies and restoration of U.S. sovereignty. Reilly is probably the liberty movement’s most shining legislator in Lansing. The fact that Reilly stands with Trump and not with Amash in his impeachment crusade shows that Amash’s hostility toward the President is alienating liberty supporters.
On the House floor, Reilly thanked “the chairman and representative of the 70th district” for his patience and support for the bill. House rules forbid members from naming one another in speeches.
Also, check out the first edition of my biweekly video blog series, “Cronyism in the Capitol.” It is about the legacy of Arlan Meekhof and the hidden costs of auto insurance reform!