The House of Representatives just passed, by the very narrow margin of 216-214, a budget cutting bill which has been the subject of much controversy for its cuts of student loans, Medicare and other programs. Rob Simmons (R-2), who is generally the most conservative member of the House delegation, actually changed his vote from aye to nay eariler today, citing the bill's many troubles. Shays and Johnson voted yes, ensuring the bill's passage.
Johnson's two declared opponents, Chris Murphy and Paul Vance (who is apparently still out there), were both quick to issue releases calling on Johnson to explain herself.
“Now, every time a high school graduate can’t get the loans she needs for college, or a parent can’t get the medical care he needs for a child, they will know who to blame: Nancy Johnson. ... This budget would not have passed without Nancy Johnson’s support, and she needs to take full responsibility for its devastating effects.”
“By voting for this budget, Nancy Johnson voted to gut some of the federal government’s most vital and most successful programs.” (Murphy for Congress Press release, 2/1/2006)
“Some politicians learn from their mistakes, but not in the "land of steady habits". Nancy Johnson and Chris Shays today showed their true colors in a close vote voting to put federal student loan program on the 'chopping block'. Our supposed “independent” Congresswoman again forgot about local concerns and voted with the Bush majority to cut nearly $13 billion from the student loan program – and thousands of families from across the Fifth District want to know why. Again Johnson stands hand-in-hand with President Bush and decides that tax cuts for the rich are more important than opportunity for the middle class.” (Vote Vance Press Release, 2/1/06)
So there it is. No word yet from Diane Farrell, but it shouldn't take long. This vote is sure to come up again and again in the 5th and 4th districts.
Update Farrell's response is posted over at My Left Nutmeg.