Neither representative has explained why they’ve split with the president on his largest legislative deal yet
INDIANAPOLIS – Breaking from the wishes of President Trump and splitting with most of their party, Congressmen Messer and Rokita this morning both irresponsibly voted against a bill that would keep the government open, prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debt, and even provided funds to rebuild communities after Hurricane Harvey.
This morning, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House passed a bill by a vote of 316-90 that addresses necessary disaster relief, funds the government until mid-December and raises the debt ceiling. Both Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita, however, were among the lonely voices voting against the bill. With no alternative legislation on the docket, the U.S. was on pace to default on its debt near the end of the month and the government was on track to shut down on September 30 if the two men got their way.
Notably, Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s vote puts them squarely on the opposite side of the issue from President Trump. Today’s bill is the result of a deal hammered out Wednesday by the president with congressional Democratic leadership to address all of these concerns, and which passed out of the Senate earlier this week. By voting against the bill, both Congressmen Messer and Rokita are rebuking President Trump to stand with Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, who opposed the deal.
As of publication, neither Congressman Messer nor Congressman Rokita has issued a public statement about why they’ve broken with the president, voted to shut down the government, or tried to withhold funding from those rebuilding their lives after a hurricane.
“It’s unclear whether Hoosiers will be more ashamed or perplexed by Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s vote this morning,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “While hundreds of Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle put partisanship aside to help Americans in need, prevent our nation from defaulting on our debt, and keep the government functioning, these two men both abdicated their responsibility. At the same time, this is the biggest legislative deal that the President has made to date—if both Congressmen Messer and Rokita are fighting to prove who is the biggest Trump disciple, why are they both suddenly abandoning him here? Hoosiers deserve to know why Congressmen Messer and Rokita have gone back on both their oath of office and their campaign promises.”