Politics

How Republicans in California voted on the tax bill

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Neal Dunn arrive at a news briefing after a House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol the day of the House vote on the tax bill.
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Neal Dunn arrive at a news briefing after a House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol the day of the House vote on the tax bill.
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House and Senate Republicans passed the first major rewrite of federal tax laws in recent decades on Tuesday. The measure cleared the GOP-led Senate on a party line vote, and it passed the House 227-203. But 12 House Republicans split with their party and voted no. Two of them represent districts in Southern California.

Due to a procedural problem, the House will have to vote again. That vote will likely occur Wednesday, but the outcome is expected be the same.

In the meantime, here's a look at how local GOP representatives voted and what it'll likely mean for the mid-term elections looming next year.

Rohrabacher represents coastal Orange County including cities like Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa. Issa represents northern San Diego County and parts of Orange County.

Both Republicans were also among a very small group who voted no on the House’s original version of the plan. That vote took place last month, and Rep. Tom McClintock of Northern California also joined them in voting no.

In 2016, Rohrabacher beat his Democratic opponent handily. But at the same time voters in his district chose Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for President: she beat Donald Trump by nearly 2 percentage points.

Issa had a much tighter race that year, winning by about 1,600 votes in a district that chose Clinton by nearly 8 percentage points over Trump.

Analysts have rated Issa and Rohrabacher among the top three most vulnerable California Republican incumbents in the House. Knight is also on that list.

Matthew Jarvis, a political science professor at Cal State Fullerton, lives in Royce's district. He says he and others have already been targeted by campaign ads on Facebook and the level of engagement with the upcoming election is unusual, as voter interest in mid-terms typically drops in California.

"You rarely see interest as piqued in mid-term Congressional elections as we've seen," he said.

Those ads are likely to increase. On Tuesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, launched a series of attack ads targeting 10 Republicans in the state, including the districts mentioned above.

"While I appreciate that Congressman Issa and Congressman Rohrabacher recognize that they face tough re-election challenges next year, at the end of the day every single Republican member of Congress is going to be held responsible for this bill," DCCC regional spokesman Drew Godinich said.

What this means for voters? Prepare to see a flood of targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram during the holidays.