Two House Republicans weighing 2012 presidential campaigns voted against a long-term budget deal Thursday that has garnered opposition from grassroots conservatives.
Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Ron Paul (Texas) were among the 59 House Republicans to vote against the deal that cuts $39.9 billion from current spending. The level of Republican opposition was slightly higher than the 54 members who voted against a three-week spending resolution last month.
Despite the defections, more Democrats voted against the measure Thursday than did Republicans, but the deal still passed easily by a final vote of 260-167.
Three 2012 GOP Senate candidates also voted "no" on the deal — Reps. Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Dean Heller (Nev.).
More than 20 GOP freshmen voted against the deal, including Reps. Allen West (Fla.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).
Despite threats of primary challenges from frustrated Tea Party activists, most Republican House freshmen supported the measure and several shrugged off the threats earlier this week.