Small crack appears in House GOP wall

The House passed an omnibus spending bill on Wednesday with 16 Republican votes, which isn't many, but it's something.

By Alex Koppelman

Published February 25, 2009 11:00PM (EST)

When the House passed a $410 billion omnibus spending bill on Wednesday, Democrats found themselves voting with a group of unlikely allies -- 16 Republicans.

Now, that's not exactly the most bipartisan victory anyone's ever seen, considering that those 16 members made up only about nine percent of all Republicans in the House. Nor should it be taken as a sign that a wave of GOP defections is on the way; after all, 20 Democrats, or about eight percent of the caucus, voted against the bill.

The vote was noteworthy nonetheless, however, in light of the votes on the stimulus package, when Republican leaders had managed to hold all of their members in line and prevent a single vote from crossing the aisle. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., had reportedly tried to pull off a similar feat this time, but obviously he was unsuccessful.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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