On this date one year ago, “Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day” published its first profile of the U.S. House Representative from Florida’s 12th Congressional District, Gus Bilirakis, who has held office since 2006, jumping in to be a legacy and take over where his father Michael Bilirakis to serve three terms in Florida’s 9th Congressional District before jumping to the 12th District from 2013 to the present. Prior to that, Bilrakis served in the Florida House of Representatives for four terms from 1999-2007.
Now, part of how Gus Bilirakis caught our attention was the day he hosted a women’s summit, that featured an agenda with key topics such as “weight loss” and “gardening” that are relevant to their interests .Perhaps that has a lot to do with why Bilirakis has a long, long history of voting against women’s issues, not just his pathological series of anti-choice votes, but the fact that he’s voted against every equal pay bill that’s come across his path the entire time he’s been in Congress.
Bilirakis is also a climate change denialist to the extend that he defended Donald Trump’s hair-brained decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords, and did so by citing a highly flawed study that claimed 2.7 million jobs would be lost if the United States honored the agreement.
But what troubled us the most as we dug deeper into recent statements by Gus Bilirakis was his town hall in February of 2017. His constituents were highly alarmed that the GOP-controlled Congress and Trump administration might move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and leave tens of millions stripped of their health insurance. So what was Bilirakis’ response? He decided to begin babbling about “death panels”. Y’know, the same “death panels” that Republicans fear-mongered about in 2009 and 2010 to fear-monger about the Affordable Care Act that NEVER CAME TO BE when the law got passed. The same “death panels” that were named Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” eight years earlier. And for that, Bilirakis was booed out of his own town hall.
In his last term in office, Bilrakis’ voting record looked a little like this:
- January 23rd, 2019: Rep. Bilirakis voted against HR 648, because he was gleefully enjoying the longest government shutdown in history.
- February 28th, 2019: Bilirakis votes against HR 1112, a bill which would have required universal background checks on all firearm purchases, and close the gun show loophole.
- March 14th, 2019: Rep. Bilirakis votes against HJR 46, which sane members of Congress voted for to reject Donald Trump’s “national emergency” regarding the U.S. border and his attempts to reallocate funds for a border wall without Congressional approval.
- April 4th, 2019: Gus Bilirakis is one of 158 Republicans who choose to vote against the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, likely because they feel the 2nd Amendment remaining absolute is more important than preventing people with a history of domestic abuse from owning a firearm (which statistics show, makes them more likely to use those firearms against women in their lives).
- May 17th, 2019: Bilirakis votes against The Equality Act, which would have prevented discrimination towards Americans based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
- June 4th, 2019: Rep. Bilirakis votes against the Dreamers Act, because he’s too xenophobic and partisan to care about immigration reform. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/116-2019/h240
- July 16th, 2019: Gus Bilirakis votes against a resolution to condemn Donald Trump for his racist statements that four people of color in Congress should “go back where they came from”.
- December 3rd, 2019: Rep. Bilirakis is one of 71 Republicans who votes against a resolution to disallow Russia from re-entering the G7 and makes it the G8 until it leaves Ukraine.
- December 18th, 2019: Bilirakis ignores his Congressional duty to hold a president who has been proven to commit high crimes and misdemeanors accountable and votes against the impeachment of Donald Trump.
- May 15th, 2020: Bilirakis votes against the HEROES Act, to further support the healthcare industry and citizens affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Florida’s 12th Congressional District has a +8 Republican lean in the Cook Partisan Voting Index, which was within the realm of possibility that he could be upset in 2020. On Election Day last week, it turns out that Bilirakis got 63% of the vote and retained his seat for another two years. Just… greeeaaat.
One Year Ago, November 10th, 2019: Gus Bilirakis (FL)… Original Profile
Two Years Ago, November 10th, 2018: Dennis Richardson (OR)… 2018 Update
Three Years Ago, November 10th, 2017: Dennis Richardson (OR)… Original Profile
Four Years Ago, November 10th, 2016: Ben Carson (MD)… 2016 Update
Five Years Ago, November 10th, 2015: Ben Carson (MD)… 2015 Update
Six Years Ago, November 10th, 2014: Ben Carson (MD)… Original Profile