Rep. Walter Jones is first GOP defection in the 112th Congress

Of the 25 House votes held in the first three weeks of the 112th Congress, Republicans have seen only one defection.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted against legislation to end publicly financed presidential campaigns, breaking a GOP unity streak in the new Congress. 

It was actually the second time Jones broke with his party. He also stood with Democrats in a procedural vote just before the final vote on the public financing bill.

Jones' office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on why he voted against his leadership. In past years, Jones has supported legislation that would allow for full public financing of campaigns, so Jones appears to have felt compelled to stick to his principles.

The North Carolina Republican is known for an independent streak, and has voted against his leaders on other issues, including measures related to the Iraq war.

Otherwise, Republicans have been so far completely on the same page in all other roll call votes, an achievement that is likely to draw grudging (and silent) admiration from Democrats, as it has in years past.

Republicans are also benefitting from some consistent Democratic support, even on controversial votes, which makes it even easier to pass legislation with its 242-193 majority.

In the recent vote to repeal last year's healthcare bill, three Democrats supported Republicans: Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Mike Ross (Ark.). When the House voted for the resolution to begin finding replacement healthcare legislation, these three and 11 others joined Republicans.

Many of these same Democrats voted with Republicans in procedural votes related to the resolution to reduce spending to 2008 levels, and in the final vote, 17 Democrats voted with Republicans.

And on Wednesday, 10 Democrats voted with Republicans to end publicly financed campaigns. It's still early, but these 10, many of whom are Blue Dog Democrats or part of the New Democrat Coalition, are voting relatively consistently with Republicans: Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Mike Ross (Ark.), Adam Schiff (Calif.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.).