The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, April 22, 2005
 

House Dems passed DeLay's energy bill


Not a first, perhaps, but a break from the norm.

The box score on passage of HR 6 was 249-183. Not exceptional numbers in themselves.

What was exceptional was the party breakdown: D:41-160, R:208-22.

The DeLay machine loses a tenth of his troops, and not merely to absention, but lining up against him. So that he needed the help of turncoat Democrats to pass the bill.

That little humiliation is about the only good thing for the Dems to come out of the wretched affair.

(The number of Dems required to defect to the Hammer was 35 (which would have made the vote 217-215, with the three non-voters).)

I had worked on the assumption that DeLay's bills, like the Pony Express, would always get through. And that relief could only come from the Senate, if at all.

Not so, it seems.

Raising the question, why the defection? Since I don't know the guys in question from a hole in the ground, I await the analysis of wiser (or at least, more knowledgeable) heads.

Stephanie Herseth, following in the footsteps of Mr Ethanol, Tom Daschle, voted for the bill [1].

The full list of renegade Dems:

Abercrombie
Baca
Bishop (GA)
Boren
Boswell
Boucher
Brady (PA)
Costello
Cramer
Cuellar
Davis (AL)
Davis (TN)
Doyle
Edwards
Ford
Gonzalez
Gordon
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Herseth
Hinojosa
Holden
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
Lipinski
Matheson
Meeks (NY)
Melancon
Mollohan
Murtha
Ortiz
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy
Reyes
Ross
Rush
Scott (GA)
Skelton
Towns
Visclosky
Wynn

Noteworthy was an effort by Lois Capps (CA-23) to erase the MBTE provisions by a motion to strike. This failed by six votes, 213-219: R:25-205, D:187-14 [1].

Capps benefits from the egregious pro-incumbent California filibuster: her district is the absurd sliver of coast that snakes up from Oxnard to beyond San Luis Obispo [2]. But at least she tried to do some good on MBTE.

Probably, some of those 41 Dem renegades had regular-shaped districts...

And is the Democratic base outraged? Utterly unscientific: but I note that the energy bill thread at Democratic Underground has six replies.

There is no associated Senate bill yet. The Times piece says
Senate energy leaders say they are trying to write a measure that reflects more of a consensus than the one adopted in the House, and they are considering hearings next month.

Arctic drilling, as well as MTBE, have been deal-breakers before.

But - the moral of the bankruptcy bill is: just because the Senate didn't pass it last time is no guarantee enough Dem senators won't roll over this time.

  1. Bernie Sanders is reliable, of course.

  2. She's the Representative from Sunnydale, in effect. Vampires altogether more pleasant to deal with than (some) Congressmen, perhaps?

MORE

Help understanding the bill (which may later prove necessary!) comes from Taxpayers for Common Sense, which seems to be on the side of common sense - and therefore against the bill!


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