Several congressmen running for Senate in 2014 or considering a bid voted against final passage of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization on Thursday.
A majority of House Republicans voted against the Senate-backed version of the bill, S 47, which passed with Democratic support. But those "no" votes, easily packaged into a 30-second TV spot, could pose a political problem for potential GOP Senate candidates down the road in competitive races.
Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is running for the state's open Senate seat, voted "no." So did his fellow Peach State Republican Reps. Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, Tom Price and Tom Graves — all potential Senate contenders.
Also voting no: Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, whom Republicans consider a top potential recruit to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor next year.
In Louisiana, potential Republican Senate candidates split. Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. voted in favor of the legislation, while Reps. John Fleming and Bill Cassidy voted against it. Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu is up for re-election in 2014.
Republican Rep. Steve King, pondering an Iowa Senate run, also voted against final passage of the bill. But like a lot of his GOP colleagues, he voted in favor of a failed Republican substitute amendment, which might give him and other members cover.
A press release from King's office was headlined: "King Votes in Support of Violence Against Women Act."
One declared Senate candidate voted for final passage of the bill: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
Not a single Democrat voted against the Senate-passed bill.