John Boehner was one of the first to vote. Shortly after the roll opened on the fiscal cliff compromise bill, a green “Y” appeared next to the speaker’s name in the electronic vote-counter that splashes on the wall behind the speaker’s chair. Reporters craned their necks to see how the rest of the leadership would vote. They took their time. Then:
Majority Leader Eric Cantor: No
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy: No
Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rogers: Aye
Budget Chairman Paul Ryan: Aye
There were only 85 Republican ayes, to 151 nays – a nearly 2-1 vote against the speaker’s postion. And it wasn’t exactly broadcast in the run-up to the vote. At 5:01 p.m., after a bunch of reporters (including me) had confirmed that Cantor opposed the bill in conference, Cantor spokesman Doug Heye tweeted: “Majority Leader Cantor stands with @SpeakerBoehner. Speculation otherwise is silly, non-productive and untrue.” But Cantor and McCarthy held their votes until the bill cleared the threshold, then gave the thumbs down.
The roll call vote is here. I’ll update a bit later about the trends and patterns.