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Senate Dems Eye 10 Republicans Who May Flip-Flop On Disaster Aid


So now the question is, Will those 10 Republicans continue to stand with Reid? Or will they buck him and join House Republicans?

For now they're largely demurring.

"I need some kind of commitment [from House Republicans] that we're going to meet these needs," Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) told reporters Tuesday night.

Helpfully for Democrats, one of the Republicans they're eyeing -- Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) -- recently sought funds for a local business under the very same program his party is now trying to kill.

"We are writing to reiterate our strong support for Next Autoworks Company's loan application under the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program," he wrote in a December letter with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA). "Every day that Next Autoworks' application is delayed is another day that workers cannot be hired to begin work at the Monroe site and help mitigate our state's continued high unemployment rate."

Joining Blunt and Vitter were Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Dems, particularly along the eastern seaboard, want to see FEMA's account substantially re-upped. But if Republicans kill their FEMA measure, they'll have a potent political weapon to wield at them through election season.

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About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at