- As the federal government moves steadily toward the Extreme Right, Leonard Lance is moving right along with it. According to www.govtrack.us, Lance is “the most conservative member of the entire New Jersey delegation."
- New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District is 44% Independent, 29% Republican and 27% Democratic; the President did not carry the District in 2016, yet Lance votes with Trump 88% of the time, versus the 63% that might be expected based on the margin of Trump's victory .
- He does not lead on issues important to his New Jersey constituents; in fact, he has sponsored few Bills in Congress, is the member of only one Committee and Chair of none.
- Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, gives Lance an 83% approval rating - joint highest of any NJ Republican Congressman.
Here are some of his key positions:
Lance’s fiscal positions jeopardize the nation’s economy, and hurt consumers, workers and retirees:
- Lance votes 100% of the time against financial sector regulations; in favor of big business; and against consumer protections.
- He voted in 2017 to repeal significant provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which included financial-crash safeguards for the U.S. economy, and popular financial consumer-protection provisions. (HR 10).
- He voted to weaken workers’ rights by allowing businesses to opt to discontinue overtime pay for employees and replace it with promised comp-time on employers’ terms (HR 1180).
- Lance was rated only 8% by the Alliance for Retired Americans for his pro-privatization views of Social Security.
- After expressing early support for the highly unpopular Senate Tax Reform Bill, he voted against it to mollify his constituents, then days later voted it into committee on December 4, 2017.
Lance is bad for public schools:
- Lance has neither spoken out against the nomination nor the policies of controversial Education Secretary Betsy De Vos, whose goal has been to limit the role of the Federal Government in Education, and divert funding away from public schools.
- Lance himself has supported limiting the role of the Federal Government in education (S 1177), and has voted to divert funding from public schools for charter schools and private school vouchers (HR 1387).
Lance is no friend of clean energy:
- He has voted to cut funding for clean energy research (HR 5055); encouraged the use of dirty fossil fuels (HR 8); and voted to repeal standards requiring energy companies to limit waste and pollution (HJ Res 36).
- Lance voted multiple times for the unpopular Keystone Pipeline (see, e.g., S1, HR 3, HR 5682), and has taken no action to oppose New Jersey’s Pilgrim Pipeline.
Lance is dangerous for the environment:
- Lance has a very weak voting record on the environment: In 2016, the League of Conservation Voters found he has voted against the environment 87% of the time, and it has gotten much worse under the current administration.
- This year, Lance voted to cut $500 million from the Environmental Protection Agency budget, 32% from the Land and Water Conservation Fund budget, and $700 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration budget (HR3354).
- In addition, Lance recently voted to delay compliance for ground level ozone (HR 806); and to allow for the dumping of pesticide in navigable waters (HR 953).
- Lance has refused to take a clear stance against the President’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, and recently voted for efforts to limit the use of academic experts and scientific studies in EPA decision-making (HR 1430; 1431).
- Lance has voted to weaken the Clean Air Act (HR 806), and has voted against air quality protections on emissions such as greenhouse gas (HR 910) and power plant carbon dioxide (SJ Res 24).
- Lance has voted to block clean water protections (HR 5055), including the prohibition on corporate dumping of waste into streams (HJ Res 38), and blocking passage of the Clean Water Rule (Cloture Vote, Sept. 9, 2014).
- The League of Conservation Voters gave him a 13% rating in 2016.
Lance is a tool for the gun rights lobby:
- Lance is endorsed by the NRA, and despite representing a Congressional District in a State with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Lance votes the NRA position 93% of the time.
- He has an alarming history of voting for concealed carry reciprocity, i.e., still defends his vote for the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (HR 822). Although he recently got dispensation to vote against the current concealed carry reciprocity bill wending its way through Congress, as recently as this May, he was defending his pro concealed-carry views. See Town Hall, 5/30/2017, on Guns
Lance does not believe we have a right to affordable health care:
- Lance voted to repeal, defund or dismantle the Affordable Care Act at least 39 times.
- He voted the extremely unpopular “Repeal and Replace” Bill out of the Energy & Commerce Committee on March 8, 2017 (Committee Vote # 32) which gave rise to the House Repeal & Replace Bill of which only 17% of Americans approved. Lance’s reckless “yes” vote ultimately greenlighted a bill that would have thrown over 24 million people off healthcare, and insured 500,000 fewer New Jerseyans. See Video
- Despite moderate-sounding platitudes to the media, he has not ruled out unpopular provisions in any future health care bill, such as decreased federal Medicaid contributions or expensive high risk pools. (Town Hall, 2/25/17 on Healthcare). In fact, in November and December of 2017, he voted twice respectively to weaken the Affordable Care Act by repealing portions of it (HR 849 and in the Tax Reform Bill).
WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE RIGHTS
Lance has an abysmal record on women’s reproductive health care rights
- Lance has a 3% rating from Planned Parenthood Action Fund and a ZERO rating from National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) for his steadfast opposition to family planning and reproductive health care.
- Despite the fact that at least 62% of Lance’s constituents oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, Lance has voted repeatedly to defund this important women’s health care resource particularly vital for under-insured, uninsured, working class and low income women. He has even tied health insurance votes to this issue. Town Hall, April 12, 2017 on Planned Parenthood
- Lance has voted at least 15 times for unconstitutional abortion legislation designed to effectively limit access to the procedure. On October 3, 2017, he voted to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks (HR 36).
Lance is consistently anti-immigration:
- Lance issued a Press Release on September 5, 2017 agreeing with Trump’s decision to immediately revoke DACA, the program protecting from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and have grown up here (DREAMers). 22,000 New Jersey DREAMers are affected by this decision.
- Lance has a history of opposing immigration reform (see. e.g., HR 5759) and is not supporting the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017 (HR 3440), but rather co-sponsoring a far more restrictive bill (HR 1468) that would leave thousands of New Jersey DREAMers subject to ICE round-up and deportation.
- Lance recently voted to defund cities with community trust policies, a potentially unconstitutional move which would have a negative impact on the localities’ finances and policing efforts (HR 3003).
Lance is in lock-step with the President on Russia and the Wall:
- Despite after-the-fact statements of support for Special Counsel Mueller, Lance was against having an independent investigation into Russia’s meddling in our election. ( See Town Hall, 2/25/2017, Independent Investigation)
- He remains against having an Independent Commission to investigate Russian election meddling, despite the fact that 78% of Americans want that, and he voted against bringing a bill for that to floor debate (HR 356).
- Lance has said that he believes a Wall is not necessary.( See Lance's Statement to Media on Border Wall.) Nevertheless, he has already abandoned his fiscally conservative principles to vote for a $1.6 billion down-payment towards a Wall (HR 3219) that is not cost-effective and that the U.S. was never supposed to pay for in the first place. Lance at his most recent Town Hall said he does not support a wall, but wants more fencing, increased use of drones, and increased funding for border patrols
- He voted in favor of releasing the Nunes memo "for the sake of transparency", without insisting on the simultaneous release of the Democrat version.
Lance has taken internet privacy away from the consumer and would put content control and internet speed into the hands of corporations:
- He bowed to his significant telecom donors and voted to repeal a rule that would protect consumers’ private information from being sold to third parties. (House Vote on SJ Res 34).
- Lance also supports allowing the telecom and other industries to favor or block internet content and manipulate provider transmission speed for their commercial advantage. (See Press Release dated on February 26, 2015; and May 30, 2017 Town Hall, on Net Neutrality).
- Lance was one of 107 Republican members of Congress who signed and sent a letter to the FCC supporting Ajit Pai's plan to repeal net neutrality. Congressman Lance has received almost $300,000 in contributions from the telecommunications industry.