State Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley, was a guest speaker at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. Mack, who is one of CPAC’s Top 10 conservatives under 40 years old, gave an eight minute speech on her political background, her conservative beliefs and what she characterized as the perils of the Affordable Care Act.
“I have the incredible honor of getting to represent the community in which I was raised,” Mack told the audience. “I grew up in a very loving and conservative home where political conversation was a regular occurrence. But I never thought that I would run for political office, much less have the chance to stand on a stage like this today.”
CPAC is considered the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists in the nation. It also showcases political heavyweights and up and coming politicians in the Republican Party. Attendees also heard from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Mack, who serves as assistant minority leader in the Minnesota House, missed Thursday afternoon’s vote on a tax cut bill to attend the event.
The House easily passed the Tax bill 126-2. Members of both parties spoke about the urgency to quickly pass it in order to provide $503 million in tax relief to businesses and Minnesotans.
A spokeswoman for the House Republican Caucus confirmed Mack missed the vote to attend CPAC. Mack issued a statement describing why she missed the vote.
“I was honored to be recognized by a national organization for my leadership in Minnesota,” Mack said. “I voted in support of the tax correction bill in committee, I support the bill now, and I plan on voting for this bill at final passage.”
The House Journal shows that Mack was excused from the floor session by DFL Speaker Paul Thissen for the day. It’s standard procedure for the speaker to excuse members if they ask for it in advance.
Mack isn’t the only Minnesotan who will be featured at CPAC. State Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, is scheduled to lead the Pledge of Allegiance tonight. And Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is scheduled to speak at CPAC tomorrow.