Is this the new normal? Will Boehner continue to pass legislation with Democrat votes?
During the previous Congress, many of us in the conservative movement, led by the scorecards from Heritage Action and the Club for Growth have focused intensely on voting records. We’ve worked to scrutinize every major vote in the House. After Boehner forced many members to walk the plank for him on tough votes, their scores were dramatically diminished.
Now they are playing a new game. Instead of making his members walk the plank, Boehner is giving all the unprincipled members a hall pass to vote no, so long as he has a few dozen Republicans to create a majority with Democrats.
On Tuesday evening, the House passed the $50.7 billion Sandy pork package by a 241-180 margin with support of just 49 (out of 234) Republicans. Most of them were from the northeast. Let’s remember that if 80% of the conference was really dead set against the bill, Boehner wouldn’t have brought it to the floor. Undoubtedly, there are at least 50-70 other members who only voted against it because Boehner agreed to pass it with Democrat votes.
This is why when we evaluate candidates for Congress we must take into account their entire governing philosophy, not just their voting record. All too often, members will silently vote the right way most of the time, but their leaders know they could be counted on when their votes are needed.
In this case, it appears that Boehner has decided to shield his members from the scorecards by using Democrats to pass more spending.
Is this a harbinger of things to come for the entire 113th Congress?