Senate

GOP targets vulnerable Democrats with tough votes in vote-a-rama

Senate Republicans are targeting vulnerable Democrats on hot-button campaign issues like taxes, gas prices and the border, as their colleagues plow forward with a sprawling economic bill key to President Biden’s legislative agenda.

Republicans are hoping to make Democrats feel pain with a series of tough votes on proposed amendments to the party’s mammoth bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, as the Senate buckles up for a long night of round the clock votes in what’s known as a vote-a-rama.

Among the amendments Republicans will bring up during the vote-a-rama include measures they say are aimed at gas prices by striking imported and domestic oil tax proposals, reducing gas prices with onshore domestic energy production, and preventing IRS audits from targeting small business owners.

GOP leaders have been hopeful about the chances of securing last-minute changes to the plan, despite their overwhelming opposition to the package, in the event it could make the legislation tougher to pass in the House. However, there is doubt among Republicans over whether any will be able to stick to the bill.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) told The Hill that when a party is using the special budget rules the Democrats are employing to avoid a filibuster, “the other side’s going to, you know, end up doing amendments that generally get wiped clean anyway.” He said amendments usually wind up getting used “for political purposes.”

Other amendments Republicans are expected to bring up during the marathon voting session includes one being offered by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) dealing with Title 42, a Trump-era policy that allows for migrants to be quickly expelled at the border.

The vote could be a tough one for some vulnerable Democrats ahead of the coming midterm races in November.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration drew pushback from Republicans, as well as resistance from some Democrats, over plans to rescind the policy. The effort hit a roadblock in May after a federal judge temporarily stopped the administration from ending the policy, but Lankford has also helped lead a bipartisan push that would limit the White House’s authority on the matter. 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) called the voting session, which can run through the night and well into the morning, a “rare” chance for voters to see where members stand on critical issues.

“Sometimes you don’t get a vote on some of these things, so it’s good to bring them out,” Tuberville told The Hill, while adding he also has several proposals queued up for consideration.

“I got a couple on taxes, couple on border, if we get to them,” Tuberville said. “We got a lot of them. So, we’ll see. We might be there this time tomorrow night.”

Alex Bolton contributed.

Tags Biden budget reconciliation Filibuster James Lankford Mike Braun Mike Braun Tommy Tuberville Tommy Tuberville
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