House Republicans Set to Defy Obama Are Mostly White Men

Greg Giroux, Bloomberg, August 1, 2013

The core group of Republicans who are pushing the House toward a showdown with the White House over the debt ceiling and government spending is made up of 41 members–all white men except for two.

More than half are from Southern states, their average re-election vote was 65 percent and most have served for fewer than five years in the House.

This small, homogeneous group of lawmakers is exercising out-sized influence as it bucks the House leadership, eschews compromises with President Barack Obama and exerts a rightward influence on a Republican conference of 234 members.

The chamber’s close partisan divide provides them the edge they need as House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio must operate with a winning vote margin of just 16 above a bare majority of 218 in the 435-member chamber.

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Bloomberg News determined the members of the caucus-of-no by analyzing voting patterns, including those in which House Republicans mostly bucked their leadership on at least five of eight key votes this year.

The analysis includes votes on retaining Boehner as speaker, funding for recovery operations following Super-storm Sandy, suspending the federal borrowing limit, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and a rewrite of farm programs.

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It includes a vote on an amendment curbing the administration’s ability to collect telephone records. It was defeated by 217-205, with Boehner leading 134 Republicans in opposition and casting his first ’no’ vote since becoming speaker 31 months ago.

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More than half of them are from the 11 Southern states that formed the old Confederacy. {snip}

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