Where Senator Chafee has Gone “Off the Reservation”
In addition to being the only Republican Senator to vote against the confirmation of now-Justice Alito, Senator Chafee has opposed President Bush and–more often–conservative ideals on the following substantive matters. (All links are to data provided by ProjectVoteSmart. An index of Sen. Chafee’s complete voting record is here).
Voted against nomination of Judge Priscilla Owen.
Voted against nomination of Judge William Pryor.
Voted against cloture on debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment Bill in 2004, thus upholding a filibuster.
Voted against the provision that allowed for opening up ANWR to oil exploration and drilling.
Voted against the Firearms Manufacturers Protection bill that limited civil liabilities against gun makers–twice.
Voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2004 that would have made it a criminal offense if a “fetus” is injured or killed while carrying out a violent crime on a pregnant woman.
Voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (thus supporting the President).
Voted against the use of military force against Iraq.
Voted for an attempt to make members of the US Military subject to the International Criminal Court.
Voted against an amendment that prohibits any employee of the Federal government from holding a security clearance for access to classified information if they disclose such information to unauthorized persons (say, to the NY Times).
Finally, of course, he voted against the President in the 2004 election.
To be fair, there are many important issues in which Sen. Chafee has been in line with many conservatives or the President. For instance, there can be little doubt that he’s a free-trader. However, as can be seen, on substantive issues he is just as likely to bolt the President as he is to join him.