Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) voted against the creation of a national sex offender registry and against reauthorizing a program that assists runaway and homeless children.
Both bills passed by wide margins with strong bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled House.
Akin was one of 52 congressmen to vote in 2005 against the creation of a national sex offender registry database that required those convicted of a sex crime to register before completing a prison term and increased mandatory sentences for those convicted of molesting children.
In 2003, he was one of 14 to vote against the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program and the Missing Children's Assistance Act, which provided $105 million in 2004 for housing, outreach and other programs aimed at assisting runaway and homeless children and also authorized $20 million annually through 2008 for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Akin's campaign said he'd voted against them because of their price tags and because they put unfunded mandates on the states.
"The bottom line of this bill is that the total cost was $500 million over five years and [put] unfunded mandates on the states," Akin spokesman Ryan Hite said about the sex offenders bill. "Congressman Akin has always been a vocal advocate of drastically cutting federal spending and he is opposed to unfunded federal mandates on the states."
Hite voiced a similar rationale for opposing the homeless youth program. "The Congressman voted against this because the $750 million price tag over four years was a big consideration as well as his belief that this issue would be better and more efficiently handled at the state level," he said.
The congressman won his Tuesday primary and will face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) this fall. The state is trending Republican and she's facing a tough race, but Democrats believe votes like these can be used to paint Akin as too conservative for the state — and are gleeful that Republicans nominated him and not one of the other candidates in the primary, who they believe would have been tougher to beat.