Eight House Republicans split with President Trump and party leaders on Wednesday and voted for a bill to reopen portions of the government, a slight uptick from earlier votes.
The bill would fund the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service, and was the latest in a series House Democratic bills that would reopen parts or all of the government, all part of an attempt to ratchet up pressure on Republicans in both chambers.
Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) joined six Republican members who’d voted for earlier Democratic bills. Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), Greg Walden (R-OR), Fred Upton (R-MI), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), John Katko (R-NY) and Brian Fitpatrick (R-PA) voted for the bill as well, as they had on earlier Democratic-backed bills. Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), who’d voted for one earlier funding bill, voted against this one.
The shift is pretty nominal. It’s a sign that while some House Republicans are frustrated enough to start publicly bucking Trump over his shutdown, a real groundswell to split with the President and force the government to reopen isn’t exactly building.
The real pressure point is the Senate. A handful of Republicans in that chamber have expressed unhappiness over Trump’s current shutdown, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has so far stuck with the President and promised to block any House-passed legislation that doesn’t fund the wall.
The House legislation is nearly identical to government funding bills the GOP-controlled Senate passed unanimously before the shutdown, before Trump reversed himself and insisted on more than $5 billion in wall funding. If Republican senators grow fed up enough that they force McConnell to give the bills a floor vote, the shutdown’s dynamics could shift dramatically. Right now, those Republicans splitting with Trump are a combination of immigration moderates, institutionalist-leaning old-guard members who oppose shutdowns, and those who are looking at potentially tough reelection fights in 2020.