An effort by the Washington Post to suss out the various factions within the Republican caucus controlling the House finds that freshman Keith Rothfus is a bit out of step with his fellow, more traditional, Republicans in Western Pa and more likely to challenge votes pushed by Speaker John Boehner.
The Post based their study on six meaningful votes on the: fiscal cliff compromise plan, speaker vote, Hurricane Sandy relief bill, debt-limit delay, Violence Against Women Act, and farm bill. Local GOPers Mike Kelly, Tim Murphy and Bill Shuster join the bulk (49%) of the caucus in backing leadership on almost every vote. Murphy and Shuster have been around for a while now, and while only a sophomore Kelly has always been a Boehner cheerleader -- that's a picture above of the signs (held by NY's Peter King) that he passed out in support of a Boehner debt proposal in 2011, and he again tried to rally for a failed Boehner fiscal cliff measure late last year.
Rothfus (right) is placed in a different, more independent group that more likely than not will not go along with leadership. This collection, the Post writes,
. . . is a group of 30 GOPers who have voted against four of the six bills we chose. This is a coalition that is likely to be a "no" on immigration reform and will definitely be a "no" on the debt ceiling. But, they aren't in open rebellion against the House leadership; just one member of this group — Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador — voted against Boehner for speaker.
Rothfus (like other freshmen, including York County's Scott Perry, who is in the same Post category) did not vote on the fiscal cliff bill. He joined others in Pa in voting for Boehner as speaker, but voted "no" on Sandy relief; the VAWA bill that passed both chambers (ie, not the House GOP version); and the farm bill. His only "yes" other than the speaker vote was on the debt-limit delay.
Kelly and Murphy broke with leadership only to vote "no" on the Violence Against Women Act and Shuster only on the farm bill. A searchable database by the Post on all the votes is here.
Despite all his problems keeping the caucus in line, Boehner remains the best rainmaker for House GOP reelection efforts, with Politico reporting he has raised some $30 million this year already. Perhaps the Speaker will remind Rothfus and others in the WPa delegation of that this coming Monday, when he holds a private fundraiser at the Duquesne Club.
It's a $1,000 to attend the luncheon, though individuals may co-chair the event for the low price of $52,600 or become a sponsor for $10,000.