McSally called it 'wrong' to always vote with your party. Now she's doing just that.


Arizona Sen. Martha McSally is more loyal to McConnell's agenda than staunch conservatives like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

In less than six years, Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) has gone from criticizing members of Congress who regularly vote with their party leadership to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's most loyal acolyte.

In her time as a senator, McSally has voted the same way as McConnell 98% of the time, according to ProPublica. Out of 476 votes she has cast, McSally only disagreed with McConnell 11 times, or just 2% of all votes.

By comparison, staunch conservatives such as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have voted with McConnell 90%, 97%, and 91% of the time.

In 2019, McSally backed Donald Trump's plan to take $30 million away from members of the military at Arizona's Fort Huachuca in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. McSally voted the same way as McConnell three times on this issue.

When Trump nominated judges with records of voting against women's interests, McSally voted to approve them, as did McConnell.

After the House impeached Trump for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, McSally followed McConnell's lead, voting twice to acquit Trump of the charges.

By contrast, in 2014, McSally, then a House candidate, criticized then-Rep. Ron Barber, a Democrat, for voting with then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi 80% of the time.

"I don't think it's bipartisan when you say you voted against your party only 20% of the time," McSally said during an Arizona Public Media debate with Barber.

"If that's what's going on in our country, that's what's wrong with Washington, D.C."

During that debate, McSally claimed to have shown "independent leadership" in the past and insisted she was "willing to make tough decision and do what's right regardless of the cost."

At the time of the 2014 debate, McSally had never held public office.

McSally ended up winning the 2014 race and served in the House of Representatives for two terms. After losing her 2018 Senate bid, she was appointed to fill the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain's term by Arizona's Republican governor.

McSally's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the contrast between her past statements and current voting record.

McSally is facing a tough election this year and has presented herself as a unifier on her campaign website, prominently displaying her own quote, "There's always more that unites us than divides us."

Democrats in the state have slammed that self-portrayal as dishonest.

"Who better than 2014 Martha McSally to give Arizonans another reason not to trust 2020 Martha McSally[?]" Brad Bainum, Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson, said in a statement.

"By her own admission, McSally is what's wrong with Washington."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.