Yesterday's House Floor Vote Revealed Solid and Not-So-Solid Allies

By David North on January 15, 2015

Yesterday's Floor vote in the House on defunding the Obama amnesty was a victory for common sense — but it also revealed the names of about a score of not-so-solid allies of immigration skeptics.

Among the amendments to the DHS appropriations bill, there was the Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) Amendment cutting off funds for the planned Obama amnesty, and the Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Amendment taking back the benefits given by the two-year-old DACA program.

Using a rough metaphor, it is always easier to say no to the prospective purchase of a candy bar for a kid (Aderholt) than to take away a candy bar already in the hands of the same kid (Blackburn) and the votes reflected that reality. First, there were 429 votes cast (out of 434 — there's a vacancy for Staten Island) on the easier Aderholt motion while the more difficult Blackburn one drew a total of 427 votes.

More significantly, there were 237 Aderholt supporters and only 218 Blackburn ones. Who were the summer soldiers that backed the first, but not the second? These folks will need all the immigration enforcement encouragement that they can get.

The two votes were mostly along party lines. There were 183 Democrats voting against both amendments, and none the other way. Only seven Republicans joined them voting against both amendments.

These seven Republicans included three members from Florida districts including many Cubans (Curbelo, Diaz-Balart, and Ros Lehtinen), two from heavily Hispanic districts in California (Denham and Valadao), Dold of the northern suburbs of Chicago, and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina (I have no theories about her vote).

The 19 GOP members that sided with Aderholt, but not Blackburn, were, alphabetically: Amodei (Nev.), Coffman (Colo.), Costello (Pa.), Dent (Pa.), Gibson (N.Y.), Hanna (N.Y.), Hardy (Nev.), Heck (Nev.), Katko (N.Y.), King (N.Y.), Kinzinger (Ill.), LoBiondo (N.J.), MacArthur (N.J.), McSally (Ariz.), Meehan (Pa.), Nunes (Calif.), Reichert (Wash.), Smith (N.J.), and Upton (Mich.).

With the House Democrats voting solidly for the Obama amnesty, it is the divisions within the Republican ranks that grab one's attention.