Politics is complicated; legislative maneuvering is hard to follow. Here are some examples:
- Horse trading
- Voting both ways
- Hartzler Amendment to 2018 NDAA
Horse trading: one representative agrees to vote for another’s bill in exchange for a promise that the favor will be returned.
Pairing: one representative agrees to vote for a bill if another agrees to vote against it. Both may thus avoid casting an embarrassing vote.
Voting both ways: a representative may vote for a bill at one point in the proceedings and against it at another, thus being on record as both for and against.
Rep. Hartzler (R-MO) offered an amendment to the 2018 NDAA Bill to prohibit funds for medical treatment (other than mental health treatment) related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care under chapter 55 of title 10, U.S. code. Tom Reed and 23 other Republicans unexpectedly voted against it. Democrats cheered; Republicans expressed outrage. Both groups misinterpret Tom’s vote.
The Republican leadership needed support from Democrats to pass the 2018 NDAA Bill; there weren’t enough Republican votes to do it. Democrats wouldn’t vote for NDAA with the Hartzler Amendment included; it had to be defeated. Twenty-four loyal Republicans including Tom Reed took the hit.
The Hartzler Amendment was expendable; presumably it can be brought up again. I am not aware that Tom has yet explained his vote. It will be interesting to hear how he does that.