Voice votes are rarely used in the sharply divided House and are almost never applied to massive spending authorization bills like the transportation package. Traditionally, anytime a powerful interest group such as Heritage Action opposed to a measure key-votes it, at least one Member will object to using a voice vote to pass the bill, forcing a roll call vote to put his colleagues on record.
The use of key votes to keep track of lawmakers’ ideological purity has long been a source of tension between outside groups and elected officials, particularly for freshmen who were sent to Washington “to stop President Obama’s policy agenda,” Heritage Action Communications Director Dan Holler said.
“If you look at what happened on our scorecard, a lot of these guys got bumped down” as a result of votes on the CR this spring and the debt bill, Holler added.
He also warned that “when people around the country figure out what’s going ... they’re going to be frustrated.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.