Right before the 1998 Clinton impeachment vote, Mr. Houghton declared, “The most important problem is how to mend, instead than even more divide, the nation.” He was a co-author of a censure resolution and urged the Republican leadership to set it to a vote instead than go after impeachment. It would have necessary the president to pay back a $500,000 fantastic but would have avoided a Senate demo and Mr. Clinton’s possible removal from business. The leadership refused, and right after impeachment, the president was acquitted by the Senate on equally fees.
Mr. Houghton also differed from most Republican colleagues on increasing the minimal wage (he favored it) and on abortion legal rights (he normally supported them). He also broke with most of his colleagues in voting to reform marketing campaign funding by banning so-named gentle funds, donations specified in approaches to keep away from regulations or boundaries.
Though contacting himself a happy member of the National Rifle Affiliation, he supported a ban on military-model assault weapons, expressing they “have no place” in the nation’s towns. When Republican legislation was set ahead in 1998 to amend the Constitution to let structured prayer in community faculties, he opposed it.
“People are screaming about having the govt off our backs,” he said, “but they flip close to and have the authorities notify our youngsters how to pray.”
Right after the 1994 elections gave Republicans manage of the Household for the to start with time in 40 yrs, and the divide with Democrats grew deeper underneath the new speaker, Newt Gingrich, Mr. Houghton assisted set up a bipartisan retreat for customers of Congress and their families on the principle that civility and individual friendship would foster cooperation on Capitol Hill.
He also founded, in 1997, the Republican Main Road Partnership, a plan group (it calls by itself “the governing wing of the Republican Party”) for social gathering members in and out of govt who, in accordance to the team, are “mainstream fiscally conservative” and guidance “pragmatic typical-feeling alternatives to the problems our country faces.”
In 2004, following asserting at age 77 that he would not operate that year for a 10th expression, Mr. Houghton lamented that he was one particular of “a dying breed” of Republican moderates.