In Congress, Tea Party caucus member Pence voted against Dodd-Frank and also against the bank and auto bailouts that were another big part of the response by both President George W. Bush and his successor, President Barack Obama, to the 2008 financial crisis. He voted for legislation favored by very conservative skeptics of easy money to audit the Federal Reserve; for a bankruptcy-reform bill favored by credit card companies that made it harder for consumers to discharge debt; and against efforts to let homeowners reduce their mortgage principal through bankruptcy proceedings.
And he voted against Obamacare and pushed to repeal it dozens of times. As governor, though, Indiana accepted the law’s Medicaid expansion, which Trump wants to defund.
That kind of voting record is consistent with the advisors Pence has surrounded himself with, said Jared Bernstein, top economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden from 2009 to 2011 and now a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Pence chose libertarian economist Mark Calabria of the Cato Institute for Bernstein’s old job.
“I think of Vice President Pence as being for standard-issue conservative economic policies, including tax cuts in the spirit of Ryan/Trump, smaller government, spending cuts everywhere, including entitlements, except defense, ” Bernstein said. “On health care, however, he was one of a minority of [GOP] governors who took the ACA Medicaid expansion in his state, so that cuts against type a bit.” He did, however, implement stricter eligibility standards as well as a requirement that Medicaid-expansion recipients, who make no more than 138 percent of the poverty line threshold, contribute to Health Savings Accounts.