Red-state senator Jon Tester gets a 'zero' on Trump agenda votes

Two-term Montana Democratic senator Jon Tester has joined a chorus of red-state Democrats with a newfound affinity for Trump voters after continually voting with the Democratic caucus against the president's agenda.

In his quest for re-election in a state that President Trump carried by 21 points, Tester has released a new campaign ad "highlighting the 13 pieces of legislation he's co-sponsored that the president signed into law," as James Hohman at washingtonpost.com reports. 

The new ad features "[v]eterans, a cop, a firefighter and an elderly couple" counting off "the bills and resolutions," with Tester declaring that "Washington's a mess, but that's not stopping me from getting bills to help Montana signed into law by President Trump."

But Hohman also notes that, while Tester's 13 bills include naming "a mountain peak" and amending "the U.S. Flag Code," "Tester has stuck with the Democrats on the major issues":

He opposed the tax cuts on the rationale that they blow up the national debt by more than $1 trillion and fought efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act because Montana benefits from Medicaid expansion.

Tester and other red-state Democrats are attempting to cozy up to Trump voters, but their records show they vote in lockstep with the Democratic caucus against the president's priorities.  A review of Senator Tester's votes on big-ticket Republican bills and nominees in Trump's first year is instructive.

GOP tax cut: Tester votes in lockstep with every Democrat against the 2017 Republican "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," the landmark tax cut championed by President Trump.

Obamacare repeal: Tester votes in unison with all the other Democrats against three different versions of Obamacare repeal bills, including the final vote on the so-called "skinny" repeal on which Republican John McCain cast the deciding no vote. 

Judge Gorsuch: Tester joins all but three Democrats to vote against Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.  And that was after Tester joined the Democrat filibuster against the Gorsuch nomination, a filibuster that forced the Republicans to exercise the "nuclear option" to "end the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees."

Federal appeals court judges: Tester votes "nay" on all four Trump appeals court nominees confirmed by the Republican majority last November, including two – Judge Joan Larsen and Judge Allison Eid – who "are on President Trump's list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees."  Tester also votes "nay" on Judge Amy Barrett and Judge Stephanos Bibas.

Ken Klukowski at breitbart.com wrote at the time that "the votes against the nominees appear to be driven by pure partisanship by Senate Democrats.  No substantive allegations have been made against any of the four judges.  All four have spectacular credentials in terms of their education, experience, demonstrated brilliance, temperament, and reputations."

Cabinet and administration nominees: In confirmation votes last year on 15 cabinet and 8 administration nominees requiring Senate confirmation, Tester votes against 8 Trump nominees, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, OMB director Mick Mulvaney, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, HHS secretary Tom Price, education secretary Betsy DeVos, and CIA director Mike Pompeo.  All of these positions are key to the president's agenda.

Tester, who has voted against the president 64 percent of the time, according to an analysis at fivethirtyeight.com, was also one of just 17 senators voting last year against a waiver to allow General James Mattis to serve as defense secretary.

DACA shutdown vote: Tester sides with "his party's most liberal senators, including many 2020 hopefuls," in voting "against a stopgap funding measure Monday to end the three-day government shutdown" over the DACA issue. 

Senator Tester's lockstep Democrat votes on big issues didn't just begin with the Trump presidency.  Tester's votes were key to enacting major pieces of the Obama agenda:

March 2010 Obamacare bill: Tester provides the required sixtieth vote in the Christmas Eve 2009 Senate passage of the Affordable Care Act, which led to the March 2010 passage of the final Obamacare bill, which Tester also votes for.

Obama 2009 stimulus bill: Tester provides the required sixtieth vote to pass President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus bill, affectionately termed the "Porkulus" bill by Rush Limbaugh.

Obama Supreme Court nominees: Tester votes "yes" on Obama's liberal nominees Judge Elena Kagan and Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Senator Tester's "yes" votes on the Obama nominees for the Supreme Court contrast with his "no" vote on the conservative Trump nominee to highlight the pattern in Mr. Tester's voting on the big issues.

The Montana Democrat has put out an ad seeking to persuade undecided Trump voters that Tester will vote with Trump on important issues.  But when his vote really matters, on the big-ticket bills and confirmations listed above, Senator Tester gets a "zero."

Two-term Montana Democratic senator Jon Tester has joined a chorus of red-state Democrats with a newfound affinity for Trump voters after continually voting with the Democratic caucus against the president's agenda.

In his quest for re-election in a state that President Trump carried by 21 points, Tester has released a new campaign ad "highlighting the 13 pieces of legislation he's co-sponsored that the president signed into law," as James Hohman at washingtonpost.com reports. 

The new ad features "[v]eterans, a cop, a firefighter and an elderly couple" counting off "the bills and resolutions," with Tester declaring that "Washington's a mess, but that's not stopping me from getting bills to help Montana signed into law by President Trump."

But Hohman also notes that, while Tester's 13 bills include naming "a mountain peak" and amending "the U.S. Flag Code," "Tester has stuck with the Democrats on the major issues":

He opposed the tax cuts on the rationale that they blow up the national debt by more than $1 trillion and fought efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act because Montana benefits from Medicaid expansion.

Tester and other red-state Democrats are attempting to cozy up to Trump voters, but their records show they vote in lockstep with the Democratic caucus against the president's priorities.  A review of Senator Tester's votes on big-ticket Republican bills and nominees in Trump's first year is instructive.

GOP tax cut: Tester votes in lockstep with every Democrat against the 2017 Republican "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," the landmark tax cut championed by President Trump.

Obamacare repeal: Tester votes in unison with all the other Democrats against three different versions of Obamacare repeal bills, including the final vote on the so-called "skinny" repeal on which Republican John McCain cast the deciding no vote. 

Judge Gorsuch: Tester joins all but three Democrats to vote against Judge Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.  And that was after Tester joined the Democrat filibuster against the Gorsuch nomination, a filibuster that forced the Republicans to exercise the "nuclear option" to "end the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees."

Federal appeals court judges: Tester votes "nay" on all four Trump appeals court nominees confirmed by the Republican majority last November, including two – Judge Joan Larsen and Judge Allison Eid – who "are on President Trump's list of 21 potential Supreme Court nominees."  Tester also votes "nay" on Judge Amy Barrett and Judge Stephanos Bibas.

Ken Klukowski at breitbart.com wrote at the time that "the votes against the nominees appear to be driven by pure partisanship by Senate Democrats.  No substantive allegations have been made against any of the four judges.  All four have spectacular credentials in terms of their education, experience, demonstrated brilliance, temperament, and reputations."

Cabinet and administration nominees: In confirmation votes last year on 15 cabinet and 8 administration nominees requiring Senate confirmation, Tester votes against 8 Trump nominees, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, secretary of state Rex Tillerson, OMB director Mick Mulvaney, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, HHS secretary Tom Price, education secretary Betsy DeVos, and CIA director Mike Pompeo.  All of these positions are key to the president's agenda.

Tester, who has voted against the president 64 percent of the time, according to an analysis at fivethirtyeight.com, was also one of just 17 senators voting last year against a waiver to allow General James Mattis to serve as defense secretary.

DACA shutdown vote: Tester sides with "his party's most liberal senators, including many 2020 hopefuls," in voting "against a stopgap funding measure Monday to end the three-day government shutdown" over the DACA issue. 

Senator Tester's lockstep Democrat votes on big issues didn't just begin with the Trump presidency.  Tester's votes were key to enacting major pieces of the Obama agenda:

March 2010 Obamacare bill: Tester provides the required sixtieth vote in the Christmas Eve 2009 Senate passage of the Affordable Care Act, which led to the March 2010 passage of the final Obamacare bill, which Tester also votes for.

Obama 2009 stimulus bill: Tester provides the required sixtieth vote to pass President Obama's 2009 economic stimulus bill, affectionately termed the "Porkulus" bill by Rush Limbaugh.

Obama Supreme Court nominees: Tester votes "yes" on Obama's liberal nominees Judge Elena Kagan and Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Senator Tester's "yes" votes on the Obama nominees for the Supreme Court contrast with his "no" vote on the conservative Trump nominee to highlight the pattern in Mr. Tester's voting on the big issues.

The Montana Democrat has put out an ad seeking to persuade undecided Trump voters that Tester will vote with Trump on important issues.  But when his vote really matters, on the big-ticket bills and confirmations listed above, Senator Tester gets a "zero."