A "key vote" is part of how activist groups make demands and score lawmakers' ideological purity. When one highlights a piece of legislation as a "key vote," it means it is advising its allies on Congress to follow its lead, and warning that breaking from the group's line will cause a drop in a lawmaker's rating.
In previous government funding debates, the organization’s opposition to extensions had been a thorn in the side of the speaker and an obstacle to the Republican whips.
The broader retreat by many conservative groups reluctant to make a major stand on the government funding vote, a year after they cheered on an impasse that led to a 16-day shutdown, reflects the muddled nature of Wednesday's floor activities, and gives the leadership a newly cleared path to pick up support from the right flank in the final pre-vote hours.
By day’s end, urgency on foreign policy and a lack of political theater on domestic policy is expected to yield strong majorities for the amendment to the government funding bill that would authorize the arming and training of moderate Syrian rebels, and for the continuing resolution.
“I don't think we'll say no to very specific training for Syrian rebels," said Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.). "People are frustrated with the president but the votes will be there."