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The Journal Gazette

  • Rep. Todd Young, R-9th

  • Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 12:39 am

Stutzman gets conservative endorsement

Brian Francisco | Washington editor

Marlin Stutzman has picked up a major endorsement for his U.S. Senate campaign, while rival Todd Young scored a legislative victory for his.

On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House approved a bill sponsored by Young, R-9th, that would require congressional approval for any federal regulation that has an annual economic impact of at least $100 million.

Late Wednesday, the fiscally conservative Club for Growth announced that it is endorsing Stutzman, R-3rd, for the seat of retiring Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh, a former House member from east-central Indiana, said in a statement that Stutzman "has repeatedly voted to cut bloated federal programs and has voted for conservative budgets that would cut taxes and reduce the size of the federal government."

Club for Growth board member Chris Chocola, a former House member from north-central Indiana, said in a statement that Stutzman "is the constitutional conservative in this race."

Stutzman, Young and former state Republican Party Chairman Eric Holcomb are the announced GOP candidates for Coats’ seat. Former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill is the only announced Democratic candidate.

The Washington-based Club for Growth rates federal lawmakers’ voting records on select economic legislation. The club gives Stutzman a 93 percent career score, the highest among Indiana’s congressional delegation. Young’s career score is 68 percent, fifth-highest among Indiana’s nine representatives and two senators. Young and Stutzman each was first elected in 2010.

The club this year has supported legislation giving the president "fast track" trade promotion authority and opposed legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and a bill that would require the use of American-made products in the construction of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

In 2012, the Club for Growth’s political action committees spent nearly $4 million trying to sway Hoosiers to vote for Senate candidate Richard Mourdock. He defeated longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the Republican primary election but lost to Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in the general election.

The House voted 243-165 Tuesday, largely along party lines, in favor of Young’s bill to give Congress the last word on major regulations proposed by the executive branch of government.

Young’s bill is the latest version of the REINS Act, the acronym for Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, and he has been the lead House sponsor since 2012. The House also approved the legislation in 2011 and 2013.

"Our rule-making process is out of the people’s control. It needs to be reined in," Young said Tuesday during floor debate televised by C-SPAN. "Wouldn’t it make sense for small-business owners and farmers to have a larger voice, to be given a bigger say in the rule-making process, especially when regulations can dictate whether their business succeeds or fails?"

The bill has 171 co-sponsors, including Stutzman.

The White House vowed Monday to veto Young’s legislation, saying it "would throw all major regulations into a monthslong limbo, fostering uncertainty and impeding business investment that is vital to economic growth." The White House also said the bill is a "radical departure from the longstanding separation of powers" between the legislative and executive branches.

bfrancisco@jg.net