After explaining that Congresswoman Mia Love was feeling “under the weather,” Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes introduced the congressional freshman as “a soldier for the cause,” and she took just under seven minutes to speak to the elected body of the lower chamber on subjects she said she’d carried from Utah to Washington. “So many times I take your piece of legislation to Washington,” Love claimed. “The bills that I support, all of them come from Utah. The bills that I introduce are examples of what Utah has done.”
Love described criminal justice reform as the effort that she is most proud of because “you had people from both sides of the aisle, as far left and as far right, supporting that and making sure that we are protecting our youth from being victims [specifically] with this ‘revolving door’ for criminal activity instead of getting them back on their feet.”
Love also cited her current participation in what The Atlantic has termed “Mike Lee’s New Crusade,” which is more benignly referred to as the “Article 1 Project,” an initiative Love said aims to fund a “think tank” for policy related to entrepreneurship. Co-founded with Texas Congressman Jeb Hansarling (Republican – Texas) the immediate emphasis of the effort is to command the dialogue amid conservative broadcasters like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.
The project itself takes a conservative slant on the congressional budgeting process by limiting bills in congress to one subject matter – ending the practice of putting favored projects into “must pass” funding bills. It is also known as a priority for the “power of the purse,” or legislation limited in its effect to funding one subject at a time… those bills that are the exclusive funding purview of congress and not the executive branch. “The issue that I’m over specifically is pretty much ‘zero-baseline’ budgeting.”
Love’s critics point to this emphasis in “entrepreneurship” afforded by the Article 1 Project as helping people like her husband Jason Love’s small business effort. Mr. Love presented testimony in the Utah Higher Education committee supporting state funding in the area local technologies development. His efforts are through his company called Xactware, located in Lehi, Utah.
“Thank you for originating the bills that I take back to congress,” said Love, again, on Utah’s House floor.
At the end of her acknowledgments, the congresswoman was asked about the status of education funding originating at the federal level and what she was doing to work with the current administration. Representative Marie Poulson (Democrat – Cottonwood Heights), a retired educator, inquired as to why the congresswoman had not voted for the successor bill to the No Child Left Behind Act, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). That bill, recently signed into law by President Obama, gathered wide, bi-partisan support.
Poulson added that the federal action would give Utah “more control over the public schools.”
Love responded by saying that she had supported the first draft of the ESSA education measure and that while she would not want to have “the perfect be the enemy of the good,” her opposition to the ESSA education bill came after the final bill ended up to be a 2,000+ page document where 48 hours were allowed for evaluation and vote. Governor Gary Herbert ultimately responded to a U.S. Senate Education committee in support of ESSA as a better solution than “No Child Left Behind,” an education initiative from the George W. Bush administration.
The ESSA bill ultimately passed and was signed into law by President Obama in December of last year.
Congresswoman Mia Love took a moment to emphasize her efforts with “Title 1 funding exchanges,” which had been endorsed by the Utah Education Association. Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) opens up areas of the nation with a high number of underprivileged students to receive funding in a manner similar to “targeted grants” that Love had supported.
Congresswoman Love was also asked by Utah State Representative Steve Eliason (Republican – Sandy) about the difficulty of a balanced budget in Washington when so much pressure was being applied for social programs deemed necessary by the congress. He specifically pointed to the 2,200 page Omnibus spending bill as evidence that Washington is still out of control on spending. Her response was to cite the Article 1 Project as the conservatives process involved with appropriations that would preserve the one-issue spending authorizations at the federal level.