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View from the Hill

Politicians in the news for August 18, 2015

While school was out over the summer, Congress was in, and N.C. politicians didn’t disappoint. Reps. David Price, D-N.C., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., all made their way into the news.

Price’s leadership role in whipping for the Iran deal in Congress pushed him into headlines. Price, along with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, has been preparing for the House’s battle over the deal since January 2014

Thomas Carsey, a political science professor at UNC, said it’s understandable for a Democrat in a safely democratic district to take a strong position on the issue.

“It makes sense that there are Democrats that are unlikely to lose a seat over this issue taking point,” he said.

Meadows offered a motion to vacate House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. But the motion was sent to the Rules Committee, which is currently packed with Boehner allies.

Meadows then filed a discharge petition, which, if a majority of representatives sign, will force Boehner to vacate his position.

Carsey said Meadows might have sought to oust Boehner to prove to his district that he was still in line with their views.

“A member of Congress like that may be more concerned with a primary challenge from his ideological right than a general election challenge from his ideological left,” he said.

Sen. Thom Tillis found his way into a large number of stories by offering a small quote about a pressing issue in the Senate.

Carsey said the additional attention is due to Tillis’ efforts.

“New senators are looking for ways to begin to find a voice in the institution,” Carsey said. “It’s typically on more secondary issues not likely to see a freshman taking the lead on a major issue.”

And on why the press is paying so much attention to the junior senator from North Carolina, Carsey said it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

“When U.S. Senators speak, the press listens.”

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