Kip Hill, the SR's Washington, D.C., correspondent, asked U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, about his ranking as the most conservative U.S. senator by the National Review:
Sen. James Risch said Wednesday he wasn't surprised by his ranking atop the list of conservative voters in the U.S. Senate. “One of these lists comes out every month or so, and I'm always in the top three or four or five,” Risch said in a phone interview. Risch said Idaho voters sent him to Washington to vote conservatively, and that's what he continues to do. Risch was one of 22 senators who opposed passage of the Violence Against Women Act, citing concerns about the federal government impeding on state and local authority. He also voted against the debt ceiling measure proposed by House Republicans in January, decrying its lack of spending reductions to offset spending increases. More below.
Question: Are you surprised that former Idaho governor Risch doesn't have a higher profile in Washington, D.C.?
He gave similar reasons for voting down Hurricane Sandy relief earlier in January, though Risch did vote in favor of the fiscal cliff deal brokered on New Year's Day. The lack of notoriety mentioned in the National Journal rankings doesn't bother Risch, who said visibility goes to those who make appearance on cable news shows. He said he turns down invitations frequently. “That's not what I came (to Washington) to do,” Risch said.