The Republicans Who Voted For It

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2008

The Republicans Who Voted For It

One interesting metric in today's bailout-bill vote:

Republicans as a whole went two-thirds against the bill. But retiring Republicans, the ones who don't have to worry about being re-elected in November, overwhelmingly voted for it, eighteen to four (using this list of retirements, with one no-show).

That shows what a political vote this was, but it also highlights an increasingly dominant House dynamic: the rise of the conservatives, what a friend calls the proponents of "free trade, libertarianism, true free markets, freedom from government intervention in a wide range of sectors, true, rock-ribbed, hard core conservatism," led by younger Reps. Jeb Hensarling and Mike Pence. Hensarling and Pence flexed their muscles and showed their power by opposing this bill. Most of this year's retirements are from the more moderate wing of the party, which is feeling less and less comfortable in the House these days.

Update: The specific retiring GOPers voting against it are, I believe, John Doolittle, Jim Ramstad, Duncan Hunter, and Rick Renzi. I didn't count Kenny Hulshof and Steve Pearce, because while they're retiring from the House, they're running for other offices.

--Eve Fairbanks

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