Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | NSA/Surveillance | Republican led | Senate | votes | Obama

Study: GOP Senate Largely Votes With Obama — When He Takes a Position

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:48 PM

Even though the Republicans have controlled the Senate for almost five months, so far they have voted with President Barack Obama far more than they did when the Senate was led by Democrats, a new study finds.

The CQ Vote Watch, which gives daily updates on how lawmakers are voting and trending, has found that when Obama has taken a position on a piece of legislation up for vote in the Senate, the Republican-led Senate votes with him 82 percent of the time, CQ Roll Call is reporting.

Roll Call notes that while that is lower than other times during Obama's presidency, it is higher than 2012.

Overall, Democrats are voting with Obama 54 percent of the time, which is at or near record levels, Roll Calls says, but so are the Republicans.

When the Republicans campaigned in 2014, they used a different piece of data from CQ Roll Call's vote study, which found that Democratic senators were voting with Obama most of the time. That's part of what Roll Call says makes these findings so surprising.

Legislation that both Obama and the Republicans have supported includes Medicare doctor payment reform, Homeland Security funding, cybersecurity, and reauthorizing No Child Left Behind. But Obama has been most successful with getting his nominees through the Senate, even though it has yet to confirm attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.

John J. Pitney Jr., Claremont McKenna College politics professor, credits the lack of gridlock with the beauty of how the Constitution was designed to work during times like this.

"I think there’s a tendency to think that periods of gridlock are permanent and that Armageddon is just around the corner," Pitney said. "James Madison helped design a system that’s pretty durable, and we’re seeing his handiwork."

Part of the success has also been that Democrat tend to hold their ground when necessary by denying Senate Republicans their oft-needed 60-vote majority.

By comparison, Roll Call also notes that House Republicans are increasingly antagonistic — they support Obama on legislation when he takes a position a mere 7 percent of the time.

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Even though the Republicans have controlled the Senate for almost five months, so far they have voted with President Barack Obama far more than they did when the Senate was led by Democrats, a new study finds.
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Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:48 PM
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