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Odd Coalitions, Unusual Fractures in Syria, Continuing Resolution Votes (Video)

veterans 298 072814 445x296 Odd Coalitions, Unusual Fractures in Syria, Continuing Resolution Votes (Video)
House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller was one of the highest-ranked Republicans to vote no on the amendment to arm Syrian rebels. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House fractured along untraditional lines Wednesday, voting 319-108 to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government and 273-156 to adopt an amendment arming Syrian rebels.

Neither vote was typical. Roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats voted against both proposals. But there were some interesting trends hidden in both votes.

On the vote to fund the government, 143 Democrats joined 176 Republicans in support of the CR, while 55 Democrats and 53 Republicans voted against the bill.

On the vote to arm Syrian rebels, 159 Republicans and 114 Democrats voted for the proposal, while 85 Republicans and 71 Democrats voted against.

There were 55 members who voted for the CR, but voted against the Syria amendment. While they may all have convincing explanations for the seeming switch — the amendment was, after all, an addition to a massive spending bill — they’ve opened themselves up to a potential charge that they flip-flopped.

The Republican members who first voted against arming Syrian rebels before voting for a CR that included the proposal are:

Robert B. Aderholt of Alabama, Mark Amodei of Nevada, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Michael C. Burgess of Texas, John Campbell of California, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Sean P. Duffy of Wisconsin, Phil Gingrey of Georgia, Bill Huizenga of Michigan, Duncan Hunter of California, David Jolly of Florida, Jeff Miller of Florida, Steven M. Palazzo of Mississippi, Tom Petri of Wisconsin, Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, Tom Price of Georgia, Mike Simpson of Idaho, Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey, Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, Lee Terry of Nebraska, Scott Tipton of Colorado, Edward Whitfield of Kentucky, Frank R. Wolf of Virginia and Todd Young of Indiana.

Democrats who voted against the Syria amendment, but then voted for the CR with it attached are:

Lois Capps of California, Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, Donna Edwards of Maryland, Anna G. Eshoo of California, Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut, Sam Farr of California, Alan Grayson of Florida, Janice Hahn of California, Jim Himes of Connecticut, Michael M. Honda of California, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, William Keating of Massachusetts, Robin Kelly of Illinois, Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Doris Matsui of California, Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Grace F. Napolitano of California, Gloria Negrete McLeod of California, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, Ed Pastor of Arizona, Bobby L. Rush of Illinois, Loretta Sanchez of California, Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, Albio Sires of New Jersey, Mike Thompson of California, Dina Titus of Nevada, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana.

Republicans Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Steve Chabot of Ohio, Trent Franks of Arizona, Kenny Marchant of Texas and Gary G. Miller of California voted for the Syria amendment, but voted against the CR.

Democrats Jim Matheson of Utah and Kurt Schrader of Oregon also voted for the Syria amendment, but voted against the CR.

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and New York Democrat Carolyn McCarthy voted for the Syria amendment, but did not vote on the CR.

Committee Chairmen

Perhaps the most interesting “no” vote on Syria amendment came from the only full committee chairman to go against GOP leadership: Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller. Miller voted for the CR, but he first voted against the proposal to arm Syrian rebels. Miller is one of the top-ranking Republicans on the Intelligence Committee, and he’s seen as a top contender to take the panel’s gavel when Mike Rogers of Michigan departs at the end of this year. His “no” vote is significant and could potentially play a role in the race to become the next Intelligence chairman.

Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina also voted against the Syria amendment, but that’s more in keeping with his conservative credentials.

The Far Left

As expected, liberal Democrats banded together to vote against the Syria amendment, which was seen as a first step in a potentially larger military engagement. Some of those far-left Democrats voting against the amendment were: Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, John Garamendi of California, Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois, Barbara Lee of California, John Lewis of Georgia, George Miller of California, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Jim McDermott of Washington, Jared Polis of Colorado, Jackie Speier of California, and Loretta Sanchez of California — who split with her sister, Linda T. Sánchez, on the Syria vote.

With the exception of Sanchez, every one of those Democrats also voted against the CR.

The Far Right

Conservative Republicans also came out in strong opposition to the Syria amendment. Some of the tea-party Republicans voting against the Syria amendment were: Justin Amash of Michigan, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Paul Broun of Georgia, Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Steve Stockman of Texas, Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, Randy Weber of Texas, and Ted Yoho of Florida.

Every one of those Republicans also voted against the CR.


One of the more interesting groups to look at on the Syria vote is the Congressional Black Caucus. CBC members were split on the Syria amendment 22-17. CBC members generally vote with each other, and they are generally among the most supportive members of President Barack Obama. The White House lobbied hard for the authority to arm and train Syrian rebels. But these 17 CBC said ‘no’:

Yvette D. Clarke of New York, Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Donna Edwards of Maryland, Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Robin Kelly of Illinois, Barbara Lee of California, John Lewis of Georgia, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Donald M. Payne Jr. of New Jersey, Charles B. Rangel of New York, Bobby L. Rush of Illinois, and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.


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