Justin Amash on Principles & Values

Independent MI Rep; possible Presidential Challenger


Don't need same rules from community to community

I want to live in a country where people feel they have freedom to make decisions for their own lives and where people live respectfully with one another. If someone has a difference of opinion, someone has a different perspective on how things might work, we can all live together, and we don't all have to have the same exact rules from community to community. That's why we have a system of federalism: different people can live in different places and make different choices about their lives.
Source: Reason magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 1, 2020

Pushed libertarian ideas into Republican Party

I've been a libertarian my whole life, a small l libertarian. And I brought that to Congress and served in Congress as a small l libertarian for more than nine years and was able to bring those principles to the table and to fight for libertarian principles. I thought genuinely that I could make the Republican party a more libertarian party, because they espoused some principles, at least on paper, that were closer to libertarianism than what we see today.
Source: Reason magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 1, 2020

Blessing to be born here; this is the best country on Earth

My parents are both immigrants and they were welcomed here to the United States. My dad was welcomed as a refugee, and that, I'm sure, made a big difference in his life and a big difference in my mom's life, in how they integrated and how they felt about America as a country. And that was instilled in me as a child where I understood what a blessing it was to be born in this country, and how much better off we have it than so many other countries in the world. This is the best country on earth.
Source: Reason magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , May 1, 2020

Most people are libertarian, not superpartisan & superangry

What you see on Twitter and Facebook is not America. Most people are actually pretty kind, compassionate, they are not superpartisan. They're not superangry about people who have different views. They don't have a lot of choices right now because they're stuck with these two parties. And we've let a small group in each party control the entire system and tell us who's going to be our president, who are going to be our elected officials. And we have to challenge that.

Most Americans are fairly libertarian. They understand that the government that works best is the one that's closest to home. You might think of your family as a sort of government and everyone recognizes that their family is a government that works better than a government that involves all of your neighbors, which works better than a government that involves your city or county, which works better than state, which works better than federal, which works better than the U.N. Everyone gets that.

Source: Politico e-zine on˙2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 30, 2020

Partisanship undercutting our constitutional basis

Amash announced that he was leaving the Republican Party, his political home of the last ten years. Amash framed his decision as a classic pox-on-both-houses jeremiad, with the headline declaring: "Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That's why I'm leaving the GOP."

In his Post op-ed, Amash wrote that devotion to party over principle had undermined "the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism, and the rule of law."

Source: The New Republic magazine on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jul 29, 2019

People put up with Congress because economy is good

People want open, honest representation. They want people to come to Congress and work with integrity. And what the president is doing is actually lowering the tone across the country. He's harming civil discourse. He's creating a lot of partisan divide. I think that's very dangerous for our country. And I don't think a lot of people appreciate it. I think a lot of people put up with it because the economy is good right now. But I don't think they'd put up with it if things went south.
Source: CNN "SOTU" 2019 on 2020 candidates , Jul 7, 2019

People want open, honest representation

People want open, honest representation. They want people to come to Congress and work with integrity. What the president is doing is lowering the tone across the country. He's harming civil discourse. He's creating a lot of partisan divide. He's enhancing it. I think that's very dangerous for our country. I don't think a lot of people appreciate it. I think a lot of people put up with it because the economy is good right now. But I don't think they'd put up with it if things went south.
Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview on impeaching Trump , Jul 7, 2019

Father immigrated as Palestinian refugee

When my dad was 16, America welcomed him as a Palestinian refugee. It wasn't easy moving to a new country, but it was the greatest blessing of his life.

Throughout my childhood, my dad would remind my brothers and me of the challenges he faced before coming here and how fortunate we were to be Americans. In this country, he told us, everyone has an opportunity to succeed regardless of background.

My parents, both immigrants, were Republicans. I supported Republican candidates throughout my early adult life and then successfully ran for office as a Republican. The Republican Party, I believed, stood for limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty--principles that had made the American Dream possible for my family.

Source: Washington Post OpEd by 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jul 4, 2019

I've disenchanted and frightened by hyperpartisanship

In recent years, though, I've become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it. The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.

True to George Washington's fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law. The result has been the consolidation of political power and the near disintegration of representative democracy.

In this hyperpartisan environment, congressional leaders use every tool to compel party members to stick with the team, dangling chairmanships, committee assignments, bill sponsorships, endorsements and campaign resources. As donors recognize the growing power of party leaders, they supply these officials with ever-increasing funds, which, in turn, further tightens their grip on power.

Source: Washington Post OpEd by 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jul 4, 2019

Leaving the Republican Party to avoid partisan death spiral

Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape. Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties. These same independent-minded Americans, however, tend to be less politically engaged than Red Team and Blue Team activists.

But we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic so that Americans may continue to live free for centuries to come. Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we'll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I'm asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I'm asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system--and to work toward it.

Source: Washington Post OpEd by 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jul 4, 2019

Amash's call for impeachment condemned by Freedom Caucus

It was unanimous. The House Freedom Caucus formally condemned Rep. Justin Amash's (R-MI) call to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Having read the Robert Mueller report in its entirety, Amash tweeted that there were enough questions in there to suggest Trump obstructed justice and engaged in "impeachable conduct." They did not go so far as to vote him out of the conservative caucus. [Amash stepped down from the Freedom Caucus in June 2019].
Source: Townhall.com on Amash's call for impeaching Trump , May 21, 2019

Nobody wins in a trade war

The Michigan Congressman has opposed declaring America's border crisis a national emergency, has opposed the repeal and replace of Obamacare, and told a Young Americans for Liberty conference that all options were on the table in terms of replacing Trump as the GOP nominee in 2020. He has also defended allowing China to continue ravaging the U.S. economy by declaring: "Trade wars are bad, and nobody wins".
Source: Human Events magazine, "China & 'Impeach Trump' Amash" , May 20, 2019

President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) slammed President Trump and Attorney General William Barr is a series of tweets, while saying he offers his conclusions "only after having read Mueller's redacted report carefully and completely." Amash states his "principal conclusions" as follows:He concludes: "America's institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it."
Source: PoliticalWire.com on Mueller Report , May 18, 2019

Mueller Report revealed crimes & violations of public trust

People who say there were no underlying crimes and therefore the president could not have intended to illegally obstruct the investigation--and therefore cannot be impeached--are resting their argument on several falsehoods:
  1. They say there were no underlying crimes. In fact, there were many crimes revealed by the investigation.
  2. They say obstruction of justice requires an underlying crime. In fact, obstruction of justice does not require the prosecution of an underlying crime.
  3. They imply the president should be permitted to use any means to end what he claims to be a frivolous investigation. In fact, the president could not have known whether every single person Mueller investigated did or did not commit any crimes.
  4. They imply "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" requires charges of a statutory crime or misdemeanor. In fact, the Constitution implies conduct that violates the public trust.
Source: Twitter posting on Mueller Report , May 18, 2019

Trump obstructed justice despite no Russia collusion

[Some defenders of President Trump] say obstruction of justice requires an underlying crime. In fact, obstruction of justice does not require the prosecution of an underlying crime, and there is a logical reason for that. Prosecutors might not charge a crime precisely *because* obstruction of justice denied them timely access to evidence that could lead to a prosecution. If an underlying crime were required, then prosecutors could charge obstruction of justice only if it were unsuccessful in completely obstructing the investigation. This would make no sense.

[Trump's defenders also say that] "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" requires charges of a statutory crime or misdemeanor. In fact, "high Crimes and Misdemeanors" is not defined in the Constitution and does not require corresponding statutory charges. The context implies conduct that violates the public trust--and that view is echoed by the Framers of the Constitution and early American scholars.

Source: Twitter posting on Mueller Report , May 18, 2019

Assure America's greatness by recommitting to constitution

We will never forget the thousands of people killed ten years ago. The nation stared in disbelief as Americans lost their lives in burning towers, government offices, and a Pennsylvania field. The idea of America--liberty, tolerance, and equality before the law--is a threat to practitioners of repression around the world. As we mourn that day, let us honor the memory of those lost by recommitting ourselves to America's first principles and the defense of our constitutional republic.
Source: 2011 House of Representatives press release, "9/11" , Sep 9, 2011

Member of the Tea Party movement.

Amash is a member the Tea Party movement

The Tea Party movement is a populist conservative social movement in the United States that emerged in 2009 through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests. The protests were partially in response to several Federal laws: the stimulus package; te healthcare bill; and the TARP bailouts. The name "Tea Party" refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773, the source of the phrase, "No Taxation Without Representation."

Source: Tea Party movement 10-Tea on Aug 11, 2010

Member of the Republican Study Committee.

Amash is a member of the Republican Study Committee

Organizational Self-Description: The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has served as the conservative caucus of House Republicans and a leading influencer on the Right since its original founding in 1973. It exists to bring like-minded House members together to promote a strong, principled legislative agenda that will limit government, strengthen our national defense, boost America's economy, preserve traditional values and balance our budget.

The RSC provides the tools and research that members of Congress need to craft and advance policies that will benefit the American people. It also provides a forum for like-minded members to join together to support common causes and challenge the status quo. By doing so, the RSC ensures that conservatives have a powerful voice on every issue coming before the House, whether it is the economy, health care, defense, social safety net reform, or Washington's dangerous, out-of-control spending.

We believe that the appropriate role of a limited government is to protect liberty, opportunity, and security, and that it is the responsibility of this generation to preserve them for the next. We believe that more government is the problem, not the sol

Source: Republican Study Committee press release 16-RSC on Jan 1, 2016

Founding member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Amash is a member of the House Freedom Caucus

Excerpts from press release from House Freedom Caucus (HFC) founders (1/26/15): According to its mission statement, the HFC "gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans." HFC leader Rep. Mark Meadows said, "The HFC will work to provide a unified conservative voice in the House Republican Conference. I look forward to working with leadership to make the concerns of conservatives known as we work together to advance a pro-growth, limited government agenda in the House."

Excerpts from Wikipedia article on HFC: The HFC is a congressional caucus consisting of conservative Republican members of the US House of Representatives. It was formed by a group of Congressmen as a "smaller, more cohesive, more agile and more active" group of conservatives. Many members are also part of the Republican Study Committee, another conservative House group. The caucus is sympathetic to the Tea Party movement.

Supporting argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Conservatives and the HFC," by Jim DeMint, 11/9/2015): The HFC had the audacity to challenge the status quo in Congress, and in the eyes of Washington's elites, that's a serious offense. For years, Washington's chattering class has guarded the status quo Establishment. But despite the howls of media outrage, the HFC has fought to stop business-as-usual in Washington. They are dedicated to [ending] the irresponsible federal spending we've seen over the last decade. This support for commonsense policies has led the Establishment to brand them as "radical" and "ultra-conservative." In reality they are merely advocating for doing what Republican leaders pledged to do. The Freedom Caucus exists to serve as a strong, conservative conscience guiding Congress.

Source: House Freedom Caucus 17MEM-HFC on Jan 26, 2017

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Justin Amash on other issues:
2020 Presidential Candidates:
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
CEO Don Blankenship (Constitution-WV)
CEO Rocky De La Fuente (R-CA)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian-IL)
Gloria La Riva (Socialist-CA)
Kanye West (Birthday-CA)

2020 GOP and Independent primary candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (Libertarian-RI)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Zoltan Istvan (Libertarian-CA)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Ian Schlackman (Green-MD)
CEO Howard Schultz (Independent-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (Green-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (Libertarian-NY,R-MA)

2020 Democratic Veepstakes Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA)
Rep.Val Demings (D-FL)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Gov.Michelle Lujan-Grisham (D-NM)
Sen.Catherine Masto (D-NV)
Gov.Gina Raimondo (D-RI)
Amb.Susan Rice (D-ME)
Sen.Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)
A.G.Sally Yates (D-GA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Justin Amash:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Mar 20, 2021