In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Why Voinovich Was The First GOP Egg To Crack On Financial Reform

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Newscom / Ryan Kelly

But why? The retiring Voinovich has sided with the Democrats on procedural votes more than just about every other GOP Senator this Congress. He's to the left of most of his party, and without a re-election contest to worry about, he's mostly free to do as he sees fit. That doesn't mean he aggressively opposes his leadership--but it does mean he knows when enough's enough.

"If you can work it out on this basis you're going to save a lot of time," Voinovich told reporters last night, explaining his decision to help sustain the filibuster in its early days.

But he's adamant that he won't be a party to filibustering for the sake of wasting time.

"We're not doing these clotures to delay or are not aware that there's a problem, or that something needs to be done," Voinovich said. We do understand that."

Ultimately, though, if Voinovich supports an issue, he's unencumbered.

"The idea is to try to work it out, move the ball down the field, and maybe not get everything that everybody wants but at least let the American people know that we're working together to try and get something down and that we know they're going to make compromises that may, on one side or the other not be happy, but we are getting something done," Voinovich reasoned. "They want us to get something done now. "

About The Author

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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 brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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