Congressional Republicans voting 100% in line with Donald Trump

Whether it’s anti-abortion, anti-Obamacare or anti-consumer protection, the party votes together. Period

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The Independent US

Republicans are overwhelmingly toeing the line of Donald Trump’s party to push forward their agenda, scrapping abortion funding, Obamacare and consumer protections, as well as voting through Mr Trump’s cabinet various controversies.

Data from FiveThirtyEight shows that the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate and the House have voted in line with Mr Trump 100 per cent since the start of his administration. 

The lack of party dissent could be argued as normal, especially at the start of an administration, but Mr Trump has been described as an extremely unconventional Republican leader.

This includes repealing Obamacare, a permanent ban on federal funding for abortion or health coverage that includes abortion, voting through billionaire oil tycoon Rex Tillerson to become secretary of state and approving anti-LGBT lobbyist Betsy DeVos to become secretary of education.

Mr Trump has also signed at least 20 executive actions since his Inauguration, which do not require consent from Congress. But Republicans have, generally speaking, remained mostly quiet on the controversies.

Few of his party members have taken a stand against the President. Many of the dissenting voices during the campaign, such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney, have gone quiet.

Only two Republicans - Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - voted against the confirmation of Ms DeVos to lead the education department, but Vice President Mike Pence’s rare tie-breaking vote pushed her through.

Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also expressed concerns over Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee servers last summer, warning that the Republicans could be targeted by Russia next. Both men, however, have toed the party line 100 per cent, FiveThirtyEight shows.

So has House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said one month before the election that he could no longer defend Mr Trump after a leaked 2005 video showed the President bragging about grabbing about women’s genitals. Mr Ryan is keen to repeal and replace Obamacare, a move which guarantees up to 30 million Americans health care insurance, but which he argues eliminates state-level competition.

Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, who is spearheading investigations into potential security breaches at Mr Trump’s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago as well as Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s inappropriate advice to Fox News viewers to buy items from Ivanka Trump’s fashion business, also voted with Mr Trump 100 per cent.

Kellyanne Conway tells Americans to 'go buy Ivanka's stuff'

Both investigations from the House Committee come shortly after Mr Chaffetz attended a Utah town hall, where he was booed and the audience chanted "Do your job!"

House Republican Brian Fitzpatrick from Pennsylvania voted only 58.3 per cent of the time in line with the President, the lowest level of support in the study. He could not be reached for comment by The Independent.

Republicans could fear consequences for not following their colleagues.

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates was dismissed after she refused to defend Mr Trump’s Muslim ban executive order in court. Mr Trump also threatened to “destroy the career” of an unnamed Texas state senator who was reported to be offering asset forfeiture legislation that a sheriff said he believed would help Mexican drug cartels.

Most recently, Mr Trump's administration has been accused by law enforcement and intelligence agencies of having frequent contact with Russian operatives throughout the election campaign, leading to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn this week. The President was accused of not taking action on Mr Flynn until press exposed the truth - an accusation which he has denied. Mr Pence found out that Mr Flynn had lied 11 days after his boss became aware of the situation.

Longtime Alabama senator Jeff Sessions was voted through as attorney general despite being deemed as too racist to serve as a federal judge in the 1980s. Mr Sessions is now in the spotlight for having sat on the same national security council as Mr Flynn during the election campaign, and questions have arisen over whether he also collaborated with any Russian operatives. 

Among the President's executive actions and memoranda - he has signed more than any of his predecessors during his first few weeks as President since Franklin Roosevelt - Mr Trump has rolled back regulations on banks and financial protections for the consumer, as well as scrapping climate change and transgender people protections. 

He has mandated that no foreign organisation get US aid if it even mentions abortion. Mr Trump also tried to temporarily ban immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, despite those countries only being responsible for a very small percentage of terrorist attacks on US soil. The executive order has been temporarily halted by a federal court judge after it spawned massive protests and confusion.

Republicans have also mostly stayed silent on the appointment of unelected chief strategist Steve Bannon, who created Breitbart, a platform for white supremacy. Mr Bannon was reportedly the architect of the Muslim ban, entrapping green card and visa holders and making himself a permanent member of the National Security Council.

There has been no drive from the Republican side for the President to finally reveal his tax returns, which could confirm that the billionaire paid no income tax for almost 20 years. Republicans most recently voted in Steve Mnuchin as secretary to the treasury, a former Goldman Sachs banker who was accused by a Democratic senator of having "cozy ties" to Wall Street. He is just one of several Goldman Sachs alumni in the cabinet.

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