Tags: Conservative | Democrats | Voting | With | Republicans

Conservative Democrats Voting With Republicans

Tuesday, 24 May 2005 12:00 AM

This is not so. Even on bills which receive little coverage, at least a fifth of House Democrats are leaving their own party and joining with Republicans to pass legislation. As Al Smith, the 1928 Democratic nominee, was fond of saying, "Let's look at the record":

I didn't mention some measures which have gained support from over half of the Democratic Caucus. The Continuity in Representation Act (H.R. 841) would require special elections in the event that a majority of Members of the House of Representatives were killed. When the House voted on H.R. 841, most of the Democratic leadership wanted House Members to be appointed for the first time in history; 122 Democrats said the GOP bill was fine and voted for its passage.

When H.R. 1544, the Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act of 1005, was considered, 181 Democrats hopped on board.

And there is H.R. 366, The Vocational and Technical Education for the Future Act. Ever heard of it? Neither had I, but 197 Democrats saw fit to vote for it. Likewise, on the Conference Report of H.R. 1268, the Iraq-Afghanistan/Tsunami Supplemental with the Real ID Act provisions added, 143 Members of the Democratic Caucus supported the bill.

Much of the credit for passage of this legislation goes to House Majority Whip Roy Blunt. R-Mo., who has proved to be as effective, but with a different style, as Rep. Tom DeLay R-Texas, who held that post before he became House majority leader. It was he who selected Blunt to be his chief deputy.

Not all of this can be attributed to Blunt's skills. Some Democrats don't want to be associated with the policies of their own caucus. They are deserting their party in numbers. This calls to mind that former Rep. Joe Waggoner, D-La., had a caucus of conservative Democrats which regularly produced 40-65 Democrats who voted with conservative Republicans. (Republicans had a larger liberal wing then and without those Democrats President Nixon would not have produced anything.)

Let us suppose 40 to 50 Republicans regularly voted with Democrats. The media would make this a top story every day. If 40 to 70 Republicans voted with Democrats, they effectively would have handed over control to Democrats. Numerous measures (many rather low profile) supported by Democrats reveal what many Members of the Democratic Caucus think of Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and filmmaker Michael Moore. The answer is obvious: not much.

Paul M. Weyrich is the Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.

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This is not so. Even on bills which receive little coverage, at least a fifth of House Democrats are leaving their own party and joining with Republicans to pass legislation. As Al Smith, the 1928 Democratic nominee, was fond of saying, "Let's look at the record": I...
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2005-00-24
Tuesday, 24 May 2005 12:00 AM
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