The House Republican caucus if factious, for sure. Chris Cillizza at The Fix got together a group of reporter to try and identify which Republicans belong to which faction based on their votes on a half-dozen bills.
“Whether it’s the failure of the farm bill, the vote for speaker or the fiscal cliff negotiations, it’s become quite clear that the House GOP is riven into a handful of factions — factions that have made leading the group nearly impossible,” writes Cillizza. “What we wanted to know was what these factions looked like and who fit into them — both as a way to understand what has happened in the House over the past six months and to analyze what might happen in the coming fights over immigration and the debt ceiling.”
The votes they chose were “(1) the fiscal cliff compromise plan, (2) the speaker vote, (3) the “Sandy” relief bill, (4) the debt-limit delay, (5) reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and (6) the farm bill.” And based on those votes, they’ve identified Rep. Kevin Cramer as a loyalist to Speaker of the House John Boehner.
“These 46 members are the Boehner base, such as it is,” writes Cillizza of Rep. Cramer’s category. “These members are with Boehner — almost no matter what.”
I asked Rep. Cramer about that characterization yesterday. “Based on those six votes, I am guilty as charged,” he told me though he did have some caveats.
“The list doesn’t show I supported amendments which would have made those bills more conservative. I supported amendments offsetting the spending on Hurricane Sandy relief and adding judicial system protections to VAWA [Violence Against Women Act],” he said. “I also wrote and supported an amendment to protect private property rights in the farm bill, which was adopted into the bill by the House.”
Regardless, it seems that when Speaker Boehner needs Rep. Cramer’s vote, he’s got it most of the time.