WASHINGTON - Tennessee Republicans in the U.S. House continued to display solidly conservative voting patterns in 2013, new studies show.
But in the Senate, Republicans Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker showed more of a willingness to buck their party.
The trends show up in recently released reviews of last year's congressional votes by CQ Roll Call and National Journal, two Washington public policy publications.
Overall, Tennessee had the 12th most conservative congressional delegation among the 50 states, according to National Journal.
Among the members of the delegation, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Jasper, voted conservative 94.2 percent of the time, National Journal found. It was the highest conservative mark received among Tennessee members of the House and the fourth-highest conservative score among all 435 House members.
Meanwhile, CQ Roll Call listed DesJarlais as opposing President Barack Obama's positions 92.9 percent of the time, tying him for third in that category among House members.
In an interview, DesJarlais said his votes reflect the tenor of the 4th Congressional District.
"I represent a very conservative district," he said. "We work hard to really listen to constituents. To me, that's the definition of what a representative should be."
Other House Republicans from Tennessee can point to scores boosting their conservative credentials as well.
Republican Reps. Diane Black of Gallatin and Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah had the highest "party unity" scores, voting with the majority of their fellow Republicans 98 percent of the time, according to CQ Roll Call.
"Congressman Black is proud to represent a district that shares her conservative principles and this is reflected in her voting record," a spokesman said.
Not far behind in party unity were DesJarlais and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, both at 97 percent, while Reps. Phil Roe of Johnson City and Stephen Fincher of Frog Jump were both at 96 percent. Rep. John Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, got an 88 percent score.
In voting on all issues, Black came closest to DesJarlais, voting conservative 90.7 percent of the time, according to National Journal. Numbers for other GOP members were Fleischmann at 89.7 percent, Fincher at 86 percent, Blackburn at 84.7 percent and Duncan at 63.5 percent.
Among senators, National Journal listed Alexander as voting conservative 64.5 percent of the time and Corker 64.8 percent. Corker's score ranked as the 38th-most conservative and Alexander's tied for the 40th-most conservative in the 100-member body.
Among the 45 Republican senators, the two Tennesseans ranked among the least conservative.
Meanwhile, CQ Roll Call said Alexander voted against a majority of his fellow Republicans 17.7 percent of the time and that Corker did so 16.9 percent.
Both made the publication's list of Republicans most likely to vote against their party. But their scores in that category lagged far behind the 55.7 percent for Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and 50.8 percent for Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Last year, in looking at congressional actions in 2012, the magazine listed Alexander among Republicans most likely to support Obama's positions, but the two-term member avoided that distinction with his 2013 votes.
Alexander spokesman Jim Jeffries said the senator's votes fit squarely with the wants of Tennesseans, noting he gets an A from the National Rifle Association and a 100 percent score from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Sen. Alexander has a consistently conservative voting record," Jeffries said.
Meanwhile, CQ Roll Call showed Corker voting with Obama 50.9 percent of the time in 2013, putting him -- instead of Alexander -- on the list of GOP senators most likely to support the president's positions.
"Depending on which votes you choose, you can make any number of claims," said Todd Womack, Corker's chief of staff. He added that's "why we don't put much stock in these arbitrary rankings by third parties."