The Senate's 21 Principled Republicans

If there’s a silver lining in today’s Senate vote for a $109 billion “emergency” supplemental bill, it’s the fact that 21 Republican senators, led by Majority Leader Bill Frist, voted against the bill.

Frist’s decision sends an important message to his party that he won’t stand for the pork-laden spending bills that Republicans have grown accustomed to sending to the President’s desk. In this case, the Senate’s big spenders, led by Mississippi’s Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, larded up the bill with $15 billion more than the President requested.

On a day when House Majority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio) also made his feelings known about the bill, it’s nice to know that GOP leaders are united in their quest to restore some fiscal sanity to Congress.

Frist offered his own response to the vote tonight on his VOLPAC blog:

As I’ve said many times before, we don’t have a $9 trillion debt in America because Washington taxes too little; we have a $9 trillion debt because Washington spends too much. And that is why I stood on principle today with 20 of my colleagues in voting against an emergency supplemental bill that sought $14 billion OVER the amount that we recently vowed NOT to exceed. Indeed, the President had previously stated that he would not sign a bill over $95 billion; this bill came in at $109 billion.

That is unacceptable. Faced with the prospect of government growing larger and larger each year, like a snowball rolling downhill, we need to stand in its path, hold up our arms, and demand that it stop. Simply put, we need to learn how to do more with less. If families in America can tighten their belts, so too can bureaucrats in Washington. No more hidden earmarks. No more runaway entitlement spending. No more mortgaging our children’s future.

The time has come to draw the line and reclaim our roots as the party of fiscal discipline.

Kudos to the following 21 Republicans, who stood firm on principle today.

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
McCain (R-AZ)
Sessions (R-AL)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thomas (R-WY)