‘Cliff’ vote could haunt Republicans

Rubio, Paul opposed deal, Ryan backed it

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The vote could begin to affect Republicans as early as the 2014 mid-term congressional elections, when 13 Republicans are up for re-election — all of whom voted for the deal.

The House Republicans in those same states, though, voted 60-9 against the deal, suggesting plenty of high-powered candidates who could deliver primary challenges.

In South Carolina, for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham voted for the deal, but all four House Republicans from the state voted against it.

The split between the House and Senate was stark, but just as striking was the split among House Republicans.

Mr. McKenna said in looking over the vote, the House Republicans who supported the deal generally had ties to party leadership, usually because they were committee or subcommittee chairmen, while the rank-and-file members opposed the deal.

He said it reminded him of the French Revolution.

“It was the aristocracy against the peasants, with Speaker Boehner playing the part of Louis XVI,” Mr. McKenna said. “Anyone with a stake in the current leadership voted yes; everyone else voted no. We know how that ultimately turned out for the aristocracy in France.”

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