In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Senate Republicans were led to believe that the legislation they signed on to Saturday would sail through the House and several of them -- including Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Dick Lugar (R-IN) -- are pressing their House counterparts to drop their objections. In response, nearly a dozen House GOP freshman convened a press conference Monday afternoon to chastise the Senate -- including Senate Republicans -- for passing a bill they regard as a non-starter.
"I don't care about political implications," said Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY). "I've said it once on the floor, I've said it to the public, I'll say it again. I don't care about my re-election effort."
Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) accused Senate Republicans who voted for the compromise legislation of setting aside the national interest out of a personal desire to see their families over the holidays.
"I didn't see the high-fiving going on, but I did hear the tune "I'll be home for Christmas" coming out of that mix," he said. "I personally think that that vote had a lot more to do with getting out of Washington and going back home."
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner put the public rift in pragmatic terms.
"Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell have a very close working relationship," he said. "That doesn't necessarily mean that their respective caucuses see every issue the same way."
One high-profile House conservative, Rep. Allen West (R-FL), called the Senate legislation a cop-out. I asked him if he'd discussed that with his fellow Floridian, and tea party-backed conservative Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
"Nah," said West. "He's probably off vacationing somewhere."