..of his party, that is. Speaker John Boehner proved once again today that he cannot control his own party. Just last week, we saw a vote to extend certain provisions of the Patriot Act fail by just a few votes. These votes were not ones of the Tea Party, which overwhelmingly (96 Congressmen supported by the Tea Party voted for the bill, including Bachmann, 12 voted against) voted against the Patriot Act. The Congressmen who voted against it were also not freshmen. They were ordinary rank and file Republicans.
Today, a vote passed to cancel funding for a second engine for the F-35 fighter jet, which would cost $450 million. John Boehner and other House GOP leaders supported the funding, while Secretary of Defense Gates and President Obama did not. The vote result was 238-198, with 110 Republicans and 123 Democrats voting in favor and 68 Democrats and 130 Republicans being opposed. Although that’s a troubling amount of Democrats that voted against the bill, they were heavily outnumbered by the Democrats who voted in favor of it. Boehner, however, once again showed that he is not able to control his party. It’s a party that’s in sad shape if it can’t pass bills that it wants when it has such a large majority.
However, the passing of this funding cut is a good sign for deficit hawks. The Pentagon described the project as unnecessary and wasteful, and cutting that funding will allow the country to make some, although little, progress in resolving our deficit problem.