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Twelve Mainstream Politicians (7 of 12) Michael Richard Pence

I have written several articles on postings related to politicians. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these politicians.

Michael Pence born on June 7, 1959 and raised in Columbus, Indiana, is the younger brother US representative George Pence. He was one of six children of Nancy Jane and Edward Pence Jr. His father served in the US Army during the Korean War and was a Bronze Star recipient, upon leaving the military he ran a group of gas stations. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and a Democrat as was the rest of his family. Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. He earned a BA in history from Hanover College in 1981 and received a law degree from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986. After graduating from Hanover, Pence was an admissions counselor from 1981 to 1983. While in college he became a born again christian and his political views shifted to the right under Ronald Reagan conservatism. He was an attorney in private practice until 1988, when he ran for office and suffered his first set-back, he lost a second campaign in 1990. During the race Pence used Political donations to pay his bills and while not illegal served to undermine his campaign. During his first congressional campaign he began hosting radio talk shows which he continued through 1999. He finally won his first Congressional campaign in the 2000 election.

He served in the US House of Representatives (H of R) in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. While in Congress, he belonged to the Tea Party Caucus. During his stint in the H of R  he opposed George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 as well as his Medicare prescription drug expansion the following year. In 2009 he was re-elected as the Republican Conference chairman. During his 12 years in the House he introduced 90 bills and resolutions, none of which became law.  He served in several committees, Agriculture, Judiciary, Small Business; Agriculture, International Relations, Judiciary; Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2007; Foreign Affairs and Foreign Affairs, Judiciary.

In May 2011 Pence announced that he would run for the Governorship of  Indiana. He ran in a tightly contested race, and eventually won the seat. He served from 2013 to 2017. He inherited a $2 Billion budget reserve and managed to add to that reserve. During his stewardship as Governor, Indiana saw slow and unspectacular economic growth. He cut government spending throughout his 4 years. He signed laws blocking wage increases, and escalated right-to-work legislation. As Governor, he pressed for a balanced budget amendment to the State’s Constitution. In 2014 he supported the Indiana Gateway Project a multi-million dollar passenger and freight rail improvement initiative paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In March 2016, Pence signed legislation to fund the $230 million 2 year road-funding package.

During his tenure as governor, Pence supported significant funding for charter-schools, pre-schools and voucher programs. Pence has advocated eroding  the teaching of science in public schools by putting religious dogma on par with established science. He created a new Center for Education and Career Innovation. He repeatedly tried to roll back renewable energy standards and successfully ended Indiana’s energy efficiency efforts. In 2015, following a shooting in Chattanooga, Pence recruited the National Rifle Association to train the Indiana National Guard on concealed carry.

In 2015, Pence and the Obama administration agreed to expand Medicaid in Indiana, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. As part of the expansion, called the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, Pence negotiated modifications to the program for Indiana that included co-payments by participants. In March 26, 2015, Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, (RFRA). As governor, he failed in his attempt to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in Indiana.

Pence ran for a second term as governor, however he ended his campaign on July 15, 2016 as Trump announced his selection a his VP presidential running mate. Trump had a few other prospects, but Pence was in sync with most of his policy bullets. There were a few bumps in the road to the Presidency. But Pence stood by Trump and they subsequently won the 2016 presidential election against Hiliary Clinton.

Soon after the election, he was appointed chairman of the Trump’s transition team. He was instrumental as a mediator between Trump and congressional Republicans and his influence in determining Trump’s cabinet. On his first day in office he performed various ceremonial duties, he also sat in on calls made by President Trump to foreign heads of state, such as Vladimir Putin. On February 7, 2017, Pence, in his dual role as President of the US Senate made his first ever tie-breaking vote to confirm a cabinet member. He cast his second tie-breaking vote on March 30, voting to advance a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. As of 2019 Pence has cast 13 tie-breaking votes. In April, Pence made a tour of the Asia-Pacific region. Where he condemned North Korea’s latest missile launch. On May 21, 2017 Pence delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame when Trump was unavailable due to other engagements. On October 8, 2017, Pence walked out of a game between the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers at Trumps request after members of the 49ers knelt during the national anthem. On February 1, 2018, it was announced that Pence would lead the presidential delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics. In May 2017, Pence filed FEC paperwork to form  Great American Committee, a PAC that would be headed by his former campaign staffers.

Pence was a key player in the Trump-Ukraine scandal and the Trump impeachment inquiry. He publicly supported the President in both matters. He also supported the assassination of Iran’s general Qasem Soleimani who was linked to al-Queda attacks on the US. In February 26, 2020, President Trump named Pence as the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force to combat the spread of the virus.

Pence has been described as being staunchly conservative on fiscal and social issues, with his political views strongly shaped by his Christian faith and by the conservative political theorist Russell Kirk. Pence is an opponent of abortion, he has criticized comprehensive sex education. He is against embryonic stem-cell research. He supports an overturn of Roe vs. Wade. He has been a vocal opponent of the expansion of LGBTQ civil rights. In 2007 he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He opposed the 2009 Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Pence opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions. In 2006, Pence supported the No Amnesty Immigration reform bill. It would increase border security, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. The guest worker program would require participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job replacement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job. He opposes birthright citizenship for illegal aliens. Pence dose not support the scientific consensus that human activity is soley responsible for global warming.

(Update 1/15/2021) Pence supported President Trump throughout the  4 years he was in office. However,  he chose the desert him when he was needed the most. On January 6th, 2021 he chaired the electoral validation in Congress. He was requested by President Trump and 4 state legislatures to delay the final count for one week. The state legislatures were back in session and they wanted to re-evaluate the electoral votes. Their respective governors had refused to call them back for special sessions. Pence refused to exercise his power and kept the original schedule. By doing this he took Trump’s last hope away from him. This action , showed that Pence had deserted Trump as well.

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