There ARE Republican Moderates still around folks….
And they could become the door keepers for the entire Congress if they stick together.in the US Senate…
The senators to watch: Well, there have been six instances this year in which a 50-50 Senate tally left Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote. He has voted with the majority of Republicans all six times, allowing those provisions to pass.
In five of those six instances (all but one that rolled back a regulation created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), the two Republican “no” votes were Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski. This is not surprising. Both senators are among the five Republicans who most often break with the Trump administration’s position according to FiveThirtyEight’s Trump Score. (Collins is the GOP senator who votes against Republicans most often.) And of course, Collins and Murkowski were two key opponents of the GOP’s push to repeal Obamacare.
Once Jones is seated in the Senate (which could happen late this month or in early January) and the GOP is down to a 51-person majority, Republicans can afford to have Collins or Murkowski vote against a bill, but not both. That pair can tank legislation if they both join with the 49 Democrats in the Senate. Think about how a 49th Democrat would have changed, say, the debate on Obamacare repeal, which was voted down only because Arizona’s John McCain emerged, in a surprise, to join Collins and Murkowski in voting against it.
Also keep an eye on the possibility of Collins or Murkowski joining with Tennessee’s Bob Corker or Arizona’s Jeff Flake or McCain, the anti-Trump trio that has more political freedom than most members because none of them are likely to face Republican voters again. (Corker and Flake are retiring in 2018, and McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer.)
In addition, unique coalitions may arise because of the ways that specific issues affect a certain constituency. For example, two GOP senators from the same state can now take down legislation by allying with the Democrats. Or senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who are both deeply conservative and occasionally aligned, might join together to block something….
image…Sen Murkowski and Collins…Instyle.Com