TN delegation split on $1.3 trillion federal spending vote

The Tennessee congressional delegation split in voting on a $1.3 trillion federal spending plan that passed the U.S. House 256-157 on Thursday and the Senate 65-32 early Friday morning. The measure funds the government through Sept. 30.

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander voted yes and, prior to the vote, issued a press release praising several of the spending items in the package. Republican Sen. Bob Corker voted no and, prior to the vote, declared in a floor speech that the bill was the most “grotesque” seen in his 11 years of service.

In the House, yes votes in the Tennessee delegation came from Republican Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Ootelwah, Phil Roe of Johnson City and David Kustoff of Germantown along with Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville.

The Tennessee no votes came from Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, Diane Black of Gallatin, John J. “Jimmy” Duncan of Knoxville and Democrat Steve Cohen of Memphis.

Corker is quoted in Politico’s story on the 12:39 am Senate floor vote that came after a round of “begging, pleading and cajoling” by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

 “This is ridiculous. This is juvenile,” fumed Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who asked McConnell for an explanation of why the chamber was in at midnight. “What has occurred over the last 11 hours that keeps us here voting on a bill that we all know is going to pass?”

…“This is a ridiculous process that we go through where people extort us until we get so tired that we’re willing to do whatever it is they wish for us to do,” Corker said.

Voting in favor of the bill were Democrat Jim Cooper of Nashville and Republicans Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah, Phil Roe of Johnson City and David Kustoff of Germantown.

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