“It has nothing to do with the party, and I don’t view it as taking votes for or against a party. It’s just about voting on the issue itself,” Matheson, who represents the most Republican district currently held by a Democrat, said in a recent interview. “I’ve always looked for good ideas, whether they are Democrat or Republican.”
And even though Pelosi is known for rewarding loyalty and running a tight caucus, these Democrats’ lack of loyalty doesn’t bother party leaders. Skipping the Democratic fete of President Barack Obama in Charlotte, N.C., this week? Not a problem.
As long as leaders can count them in their column for the purposes of House control, it’s all good: They’re free to vote however they want.