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January 17, 2014 11:36 AM Senate Naysayers on Approps Bill

By Ed Kilgore

Relatively speaking, there was a larger dissent against the Omnibus Appropriations bill in the Senate (26 of 98) than in the House (67 of 426). All of the Senate naysayers were Republicans, who, as a conference, split against it 26-17.

Looking at the GOP breakdown in the Senate is interesting. All three senators mulling presidential bids, of course, voted “nay” (Cruz, Rubio and Paul), with Cruz, of course, executing and then withdrawing a last-minute “Defund Obamacare” amendment threat to remind everyone of his perpetual leverage. 12 of the 17 Republican “yea” votes came from members of the Appropriations Committee, the principal drafters (and in the long run, beneficiaries) of the bill (Mitch McConnell was one of two Approps Republicans to vote “nay”). Another was David Vitter, who with Mary Landrieu (and her Republican re-election opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy) had a big provision in the bill stopping potential flood insurance rate hikes that might have hit Louisiana hard. None of the other GOP “yea” votes were cast by senators up for reelection this year.

Hardly anyone in the MSM is paying attention to the vote breakdown on the omnibus bill, but you can bet the primary opponents to appropriators Lamar Alexander, Thad Cochran and Lindsey Graham already have their attack ads prepared. Remember that, and the overall 26-17 GOP vote against the bill, next time you hear the Republican Establishment has fully and finally tamed the Tea Party insurgency.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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