Racking Up the No Votes

Randy Kuhl has voted against the major appropriations bills that have come before Congress in the last two weeks. This week's no votes on the Interior and Environment and Financial Services and General Government bills are interesting because each was accompanied by a press release (here and here) touting Kuhl-sponsored earmarks in those bills.

Kuhl has not explained his votes against these or any other appropriations bills. None of the appropriations bills have passed with veto-proof majorities. Most of the bills passed are under veto threat from the White House. Kuhl's vote with his party helps to give those veto threats some credibility, which in turn gives Senate Republicans leverage to remove or reduce appropriations that aren't in line with the Republican agenda.

If Kuhl votes for the final, compromise version of the bill, he can have it both ways: He can claim that he ultimately voted for the appropriation (and his earmarks), even though he initially opposed the bill.