Fiscal cliff vote divides Va., Md. lawmakers

January 2, 2013

Tuesday night’s House vote on legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff”divided Washington-area lawmakers along unusual lines, with a few notable exceptions to a mostly party-line tally.

The measure passed 257-167, with the support of more than 90 percent of Democrats and just over one-third of Republicans. But in Virginia, only one member — Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) — voted in favor of the bill, though Connolly called it a “hold your nose vote.”

The commonwealth’s other two Democrats, Reps. James P. Moran Jr. and Bobby Scott, both voted against the measure, with Moran calling it “wholly inadequate” because it puts off so many key decisions. All eight Virginia Republicans — Reps. Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes, Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell, Rob Wittman and Frank Wolf — opposed the bill.

Cantor’s opposition was especially noteworthy, since he serves as House Majority Leader and has had a sometimes bumpy relationship with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who voted in favor of the legislation.

In Maryland, the vote fell completely along party lines. Republican Reps. Roscoe Bartlett and Andy Harris opposed the bill, while Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings, Donna Edwards, Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Chris Van Hollen all backed it.

All four area Senators — Democrats James Webb (Va.), Mark Warner (Va.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.) and Benjamin Cardin (Md.) — supported the cliff legislation when that chamber voted early Tuesday morning.

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