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.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.