Politico: “Rough Future” for Ellmers & other GOP freshmen






The reliably left-of-center Politico web site has pegged Congresswoman Renee Ellmers as one of a handful of GOP House freshmen who may have a bumpy campaign season:

[…] Rep. Renee Ellmers came to Congress after beating out seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge in an extremely close race in North Carolina. The House leadership quickly adopted her as one of their favorite freshmen, making her chairwoman of the Small Business Committee’s Healthcare and Technology Subcommittee, while placing her on the high-profile House and Senate payroll tax conference committee.

“I’m one to speak my mind, and over time, I have been able to establish that,” she said. “I don’t speak on every issue; not every issue is my issue. I’m not the one to get up every week at conference and speak at the microphone, because when I do, I want people to listen to what I’m saying. … I wish more of [the] members would follow that.”

But one issue she has no problem speaking out on is health care. The issue is near and dear to her heart as Ellmers is a former nurse, and her husband is a surgeon. Like many of her freshman colleagues, she came into office running on anti-“Obamacare” sentiment and still lists repeal of the health care law has her top priority.

“I’m a member of the [Republican] Doctors Caucus, and we’re very active in putting together different pieces to put into place … a free-market patient-centered program,” she said. “We just assume the Supreme Court will strike the law down, so from the legislative side we have to be ready.”

She says she’s proud of the work the House has done to repeal and defund chunks of the law, and she believes House freshmen have been able to “change the dialogue” in Washington.

“We’re talking about cuts, cuts, cuts all the time and spending and size of government where that wasn’t the discussion before,” she said. “Before, the discussion was earmarks and deals, and we don’t have that anymore. Everything we vote on now is on policy. I feel very good about that.”

Ellmers will face off against three Republican challengers in the North Carolina primary in May, and two Democrats are facing off for her seat, as well.  […]