Mr. Cao's persistent pattern

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Cao

The Hill, March 31, 2009:

Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.) may buck his party when the House votes on President Obama’s budget proposal later this week.

The freshman lawmaker told The Hill that his constituents are split, adding that he wants more information before deciding whether to stick with his party or side with the president, who carried his district overwhelmingly in November.

“At this point, I’m not sure which is approach is better,” Cao said Tuesday morning.

The actual vote, April 2, 2009:

Cao - NAY

Public vacillation, handwringing, and faux-maverickiness, followed by a party-line vote, seems to be an ongoing tic of Cao's. On Feb. 12, on the eve of the stimulus package vote, he told The Times-Picayune:

I’m voting along what my conscience dictates and the needs of the 2nd Congressional District dictate, even if I were to be the only member of the GOP to vote for the stimulus package."

A day later, he voted against the stimulus.

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