Disappointing Dispatches From The Hill

Friday, February 3rd, 2012 and is filed under Blog

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Honestly, this has been a very disappointing week for conservatives.  In the first full week of this year’s legislative session, we have seen cave after cave; bad vote after bad vote.  Republicans completely caved on the $260 billion highway bill.  They plan to bring it to the floor next week.  They completely caved on the FAA bill, which makes it easier to force unionization on aviation workers.  They will consider that bill on the House floor tomorrow.

It’s what happened today that is so shocking.  Senators Toomey and McCaskill proposed a bipartisan amendment to permanently ban earmarks from the Senate.  This would have been a great time for both parties to get together and end this abusive practice.  Amazingly, the amendment garnered just 40 votes; 33 Republicans and 7 Democrats.  13 Republicans voted no.  Here are their names:

  • Alexander, L. (TN)
  • Blunt (MO)
  • Cochran (MS)
  • Collins, S. (ME)
  • Hoeven (ND)
  • Hutchison, K. (TX)
  • Inhofe (OK)
  • Lugar (IN)
  • Murkowski, L. (AK)
  • Roberts (KS)
  • Sessions, J. (AL)
  • Shelby (AL)
  • Wicker (MS)

If Republicans can’t even oppose a few million dollars in earmarks, how are they going to cut hundreds of billions?

In other dismal news, the Senate voted down Senator DeMint’s amendment to merely express the sense of the Senate in support of term limits.  He garnered just 24 votes; 1 Democrat and 23 Republicans.

In unrelated news, Republicans on the tax extenders conference committee have expressed their willingness to count phantom war savings as offsets for full extension of Medicare doc fix and unemployment benefits [read more here].

We definitely have our work cut out for us over the next few weeks.  As you can see, we have succeeded in electing some good Republicans, but they are still in the minority.  In the coming weeks we hope to expand the map and endorse more solid conservatives, so we can come back and report positive news from the Hill.