What does Beto O'Rourke actually stand for?
Current Affairs has written a good article about Beto's record in the House and his background. Some excerpts:
In his six years in Congress, O’Rourke passed three bills. Two were related to veterans issues, the third renamed a federal building and courthouse. Of course, O’Rourke was in a GOP-dominated House, which would limit his effectiveness. But part of being effective as a Member of Congress is learning to deal with the environment you are in. Between 1995 and 2007, when the Republicans solidly held the House of Representatives, the lawmaker who passed the most amendments was not a far-right Republican but instead Vermont’s independent democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, dubbed an “amendment king.”
But it may have been the last time O’Rourke waged a sustained campaign against the Democratic establishment. While the Democratic base is coalescing around single-payer health care and free college, O’Rourke sponsored neither House bill. During his time in Congress, he never joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He has been, however, a member of the New Democratic Caucus, the group organized to carry on the ideas of Clintonite policies. During the 2016 presidential primary, he stayed on the sidelines.
While O’Rourke steadily avoided left-wing legislation, he went above and beyond to ally himself to the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. In 2015, Congress narrowly gave President Obama so-called “Fast Track” authority as it related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This essentially greased the skids for Obama to accept and implement this agreement, which many labor, consumer, human rights, and environmental advocates worried would vastly expand the power of investors and corporations and undermine U.S. sovereignty. The 219 to 211 vote in the House sent shockwaves through this community, and a foreboding sense that the TPP would become a reality (at that point, no one expected Donald J. Trump to be the President soon and deep six the TPP, but politics got really weird over the next few years).