Eight Republicans in the House joined 177 Democrats in voting against President Donald Trump’s border wall funding request.
Call this The List of Political Suicides. At least, it would be, save the fact that half are leaving office, anyway.
They are: Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo, both from Florida; Justin Amash and Fred Upton, both from Michigan; Ken Buck from Colorado; Will Hurd from Texas; Erik Paulsen from Minnesota; and David Valadao from California.
Meanwhile, 11 other Republicans outright skipped the vote.
What were their reasons for bucking their party’s tide — for turning aside their president’s wishes — for bluntly telling the conservatives of America: Sorry, we’re with Democrats on this one?
Wasteful spending, as Amash put it in a tweet.
“This massive, wasteful spending bill — stuffed with unrelated items — passed 217-185,” Amash wrote. “It’s amazing how some wall funding causes my fellow Republicans to embrace big government.”
That’s one way to look at it.
Another? Smart Republicans in the House know the American people are getting tired of open borders, of Democrats winning on border controls and of the GOP, in general, caving and conceding and cowering in corners whenever a political fight brews on Capitol Hill — even when the GOP holds majorities. So they voted for the border wall funding.
But here’s a bigger reason why these eight bucked the border bill: Half, politically speaking, are soon to be untouchable.
Valadao, Ros-Lehtinen, Curbelo and Paulsen — all of whom have come out hard in the past against border walls and border wall funding, and even against Trump — are going home, anyway. Paulsen, Curbelo, and Valadao lost their re-elections, and Ros-Lehtinen announced months ago she was retiring.
What can angry voters do to them?
Hurd, meanwhile, tweeted this: “The American people sent us up here to get things done, and the only way we can get things done is by working together.”
That’s nice; somebody tell the Democrats.
In the meantime, Amash, Hurd, Upton and Buck better prepare for the angry phone calls. This is one of those moments in time that voters are going to remember.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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