The Corner

Gang of 22

House Speaker John Boehner’s (R., Ohio) deficit reduction plan passed the House on Friday, but just barely (218 to 210). Even with the last minute addition of measure requiring that Congress pass a balanced-budget amendment before a second installment of new debt can be authorized, 22 Republicans voted ‘nay.’ Ironically, despite the media’s insistence that Boehner was facing a “freshman uprising,” only 10 new members voted against the plan. Out of the 38 members who signed a pledge promising not to vote for a debt increase absent the full enactment of “Cut, Cap and Balance,” only 18 ultimately stay true to that pledge. Of the 22 members who voted no on Friday, only one (DesJarlais) supported the Obama-Boehner “budget deal” negotiated in April.  Here’s a breakdown:

Rep. Justin Amash (R., Mich.) — A staunch libertarian, the freshman Amash signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge and was never a likely contender to support the Boehner plan.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) — The presidential candidate has been one of the most vocal opponents of raising the debt ceiling. Bachmann signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge, but ended up voting against that bill, saying she would only consider voting for a debt increase if it included the full repeal of Obamacare. It’s doubtful that leadership even bothered trying to persuade her otherwise.

Rep. Paul Broun (R., Ga.) — Broun, who is serving his third term in congress, signed the CCB pledge and was an early hard no against the Boehner plan. In fact, Broun told National Review Online that he wanted to lower the debt ceiling to $13 trillion (from $14.3 trillion). He’s even introduced legislation to do just that.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) — Many consider Chaffetz, a two-term member, a sure bet to mount a primary challenge against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) in 2012. He introduced the CCB legislation, and is a prominent member of the conservative Republican Study Committee. He was also an early no.

Rep. Chip Cravaack (R., Minn.) — This tea-party freshman did not sign the CCB pledge, but voted against the April “budget deal.”

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R., Tenn.) — A freshman, he supported the “budget deal” in April, and almost certainly regretted it. Perhaps to compensate, DerJarlais voted against CCB, as well as the Boehner plan.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R., S.C.) — South Carolina’s GOP congressional delegation, which includes three freshman (Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney and Scott) has often joined together in opposition to party leadership. They all have strong conservative voting records, though some members attribute their opposition in this case to the powerful influence of Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), a prominent supporter of CCB who led an effort in the Senate to oppose the Boehenr plan. One senior House Republican speculates to NRO that some if not all of these members could be mulling a run for Senate. DeMint’s self-imposed term limit means there will be an open seat in 2016. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who is up in 2014, has long been seen by some conservative as a potential primary target.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) — See above.

Rep. Tom Graves (R., Ga.) — A staunch RSC conservative and “freshman in spirit” (he won a special election in the summer of 2010) Graves signed the CCB pledge and was an early no. Earlier this year, Graves played an instrumental role in pressing leadership to live up to its pledge to cut $100 billion from this year’s budget.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.) — p f CR

Rep. Tim Johnson (R., Ill.) — A six-term member with a relatively moderate voting record, Johnson opposed the “budget deal” earlier this year. However, his vote was a bit unexpected, at least in the sense that his name was not included in many of the early whip counts in the run-up to the vote.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) — The chairman of the RSC insited that “Cut, Cap and Balance” was the only comprise House conservative were willing to make in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) — A strong Bachmann ally, King signed the CCB pledge, but suggested to NRO that only the full repeal of Obamacare could compel him to support a debt ceiling increase. He is serving his fifth term.

Rep. Tom Latham (R., Iowa) — A nine-term member and Boehner ally, Latham held his vote until the final minutes before voting ‘nay.’ He signed the CCB pledge.

Rep. Connie Mack (R., Fla.) – Mack, a four-term member, signed the CCB pledge but voted against the bill. He was always likely to oppose Boehner’s plan.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R., Calif.) – A two-term member, he introduced the House version of Sen. Pat Toomey’s “Full Faith and Credit Act” that would instruct the Treasury Department to prioritize interest payments to avoid default in the event that the debt ceiling isn’t raised. Leadership opted not to hold a vote on the bill. McClintock voted against the April “budget deal” and told NRO that he hoped Republicans would “learn from our mistakes” this time around.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) — See Rep. Jeff Duncan.

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) — Like fellow 2012 hopeful Bachmann, Paul signed the CCB pledge then turned around and voted against it, presumably because it failed to abolish the Federal Reserve.

Rep. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) — As one of two freshman representative on the leadership team, Scott was presumably in a tough position regarding this vote. He initially support the April “budget deal,” but ultimately voted against it. Scott and Gowdy were both last minute “emergency” holdouts during the vote on Friday, casting their ‘nays’ in the final seconds after Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) gave them the all-clear.

Rep. Steve Southerland (R., Fla.) — A conservative freshman and RSC member, Southerland opposed the April “budget deal” and signed the CCB pledge.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R., Ill.) — This outspoken freshman is a strong Jim Jordan ally, who rarely holds back his frustration with party leadership. Walsh, a signer of the CCB pledge, led an effort to prevent the debt ceiling plan drafted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) from ever coming to a vote in the House.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) — Joe “You Lie!” Wilson is not a freshman (currently serving his sixth term), but has a solid conservative record and also represents the same state as Jim DeMint. 

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...


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