25 Republican Senators Who Betrayed Their Caucus

Alicé Leuchte | September 28, 2013

Matt Hoskins, the Executive Director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, sent out an email Friday listing the Republican Senators who broke from the Republican Caucus, and voted with Democrats on funding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  These Senators are listed below with a link to their contact information (and a little extra):


Alaska: Lisa Murkowksi
Murkowski regularly breaks from the Republican caucus and votes with Alaska’s Democrat Senator Mark Begich.  Taking into account the circumstances of her election (and state party rules), it would be more appropriate to label her an Independent.

For those unfamiliar with the intrigue in the Last Frontier – after losing the primary, Murkowski chose to become a write-in candidate in the 2010 general election against the Republican nominee Joe Miller.   With the help of certain Republican leaders in the state, she narrowly won.

Arkansas: John Boozman
According to Politico, Boozman berated Ted Cruz over the amount of attention the Obamacare debate has garnered, as indicated by the massive amount of contacts his office has received over the matter.

Arizona: John McCain
McCain’s break with Republicans needs no explanation.

Georgia: Saxby Chambliss, Johnny Isakson
Both of Georgia’s Senators are Republican, and both voted to fund Obamacare.  What makes matters worse for Chambliss was that his staff had been telling his constituents he would vote otherwise.

Illinois: Mark Kirk
Kirk was elected to Obama’s old Senate seat, and wasted no time supporting Democrat measures.  As reported by The Hill, he started his move towards the blue side of the isle before he was even sworn into office.

Indiana: Dan Coats
Coats is considered a “moderate” by many, but it should be noted that he voted in favor of the 2012 NDAA and has supported multiple gun control measures.

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader)
McConnell has been struggling to maintain support in his home state, especially considering he stands in stark contrast to the other Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul.  I doubt McConnell’s vote in this matter will help him win reelection in 2016.

Maine: Susan Collins
In 2009, Human Events published a list of the top 10 RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).  Collins was number 2 on that list, above Alaska’s Murkowski and Arizona’s McCain.

Mississippi: Thad Cochran, Roger Wicker
Both Senators from Mississippi are Republican, and both voted to fund Obamacare.

Missouri: Roy Blunt
Blunt is simply a fan of Obamacare.

North Carolina: Richard Burr

Burr has been in his office since 2004, and has voted in favor of the Patriot Act, the TARP Bailouts and other unpopular measures.  In this case, he broke with the caucus again and voted with his Democrat counterpart, Senator Hagan.

Hagan was elected during the Obama-style, Democrat push in North Carolina, and took Elizabeth Dole’s seat.  Former Governor Perdue was also part of this trend, and is best known nationally as the governor to suggest Obama suspend the 2012 federal elections.  She declined to seek reelection.

Like Alaska, North Carolina seems to have a high-level, bipartisan coalition supporting Obama’s signature policies.

North Dakota: John Hoeven
Hoeven is listed on the Barracuda Brigades’ list of those who “voted with the Democrats to break a proposed filibuster and allow a full vote on Universal Background Checks, 2013 Assault Weapons Ban and the Magazine Ban (S.649).”

Nebraska: Mike Johanns
Former Governor of Nebraska Johanns has crossed the isle to compromise on a number of items while in his Senate seat.  In February, he announced he would not seek reelection.

New Hampshire: Kelly Ayotte
Despite the fact Sarah Palin endorsed her in 2010, Ayotte has proven since then that she is willing to compromise on key issues as well.  For example, Ayotte is also listed on the Barracuda Brigades’ list of those who supported S.649.

New Jersey: Jeff Chiesa
Chiesa is New Jersey’s temporary Senator, chosen by Governor Chris Christie to replace the late Frank Lautenberg.

Oklahoma: Tom Coburn
In 2011, The Daily Beast deemed Colburn a “Tea Party Turncoat.”  Also mentioned is that Colburn sets his own term limits and has vowed to serve in this seat after 2016.

South Carolina: Lindsey Graham
South Carolinians are actively trying to replace Graham.

South Dakota: John Thune
Thune, who took Tom Daschle’ seat, supported TARP, the extension of the Patriot Act and raising the debt ceiling.  He, along with 10 other usual suspects, also allowed a Former Planned Parenthood Director to become a Federal Judge in 2011.

Tennessee: Bob Corker
Corker thinks defunding Obamacare is “silly.”

Tennessee: Lamar Alexander
Tea Party groups are pressuring Alexander to retire, specifically citing his support for Obama’s immigration policies. Alexander is also listed with Senator Thune on supporting John J. “Jack” McConnell for Federal Judge.

Texas: John Cornyn
In sharp contrast to the other Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, Cornyn voted in support of funding Obamacare.  The Daily Kos, quoting rush Limbaugh, declared Cornyn had joined “the RINO Party” back in 2009.

Wisconsin: Ron Johnson
Johnson may be a stark exception of the trend in this list of Senators.  On the surface his record seems consistent, and in an interview with Greta, he passionately stated he appreciates every effort to expose Obamacare as it is a very disastrous law.  However, he disagrees on how to resolve the situation.

He advocates Democrats who oppose the ACA to put pressure on their elected officials.  Without Democrats – seeing they control the Senate and White House – Obamacare cannot be defeated.

Wyoming: John Barrasso
Despite Senator Barrasso’s recent showcase on MSNBC where he had demanded Obama and Clinton apologize for the negative effects of Obamacare, he voted with Democrats to fund the law.


Two Republican Senators were missing in action for the vote:

Arizona: Jeff Flake
Utah: Orrin Hatch

Their absence has garnered ire, and they are frequently counted among the above 25 as parting ways with the caucus by failing to represent their constituents on this important matter.

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