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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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cloture on EPA's Johnson - why did Feingold vote with GOP?

Will Rogers said (something like)
It's not what you don't know that gets you into trouble, it's what you do know that ain't so.

In the same vein, and mixing quotation, I'd put the goal of this little blog as tampering with natural ignorance. (My own, that is. Wasn't that clear?)

And there are more than enough posers in the field of politics apt for the purpose: for instance, the vote on a cloture motion on the confirmation of Stephen L Johnson as Administrator of the EPA.

I mentioned on April 29 the fact that Thomas Carper, Senator from Delaware and MBNA's catamite, had placed a Senate 'hold' on Johnson's confirmation, for reasons therein discussed.

It turns out that at 0013 EDT on that very day (I truly hate breaking news!), the Senate nipped his protest in the bud, by the score of 61-37.

The debate - the proceedings hardly dignify the word! - is #27 Executive Session on April 28.

Carper speaks as if he is bound to lose - which, of course, he is. Voinovich says he sympathises, but there has to be an Adminstrator appointed.

And that's pretty much it.

Until one comes to examine the scorecard: Lott and Lieberman did not vote (were they paired? the Congressional Record doesn't say so), leaving 43 Dems plus Jeffords who did. The renegade Dems were:

Baucus (D-MT)
Byrd (D-WV)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)

Baucus, Byrd, the Nelson 'Brothers' - these are all usual suspects (or moderates, if you prefer).

But Feingold???

Feingold is the most liberal - according to his DW-NOMINATE score (1st coordinate) - senator of the 108th Congress. By a country mile: Boxer, that Commie, comes in at -0.601 (third most liberal), whilst Feingold scores -0.861.

The site supplies his record on RCVs in the 109th Congress (it has the records of earlier Congresses back to the 101th: ne plus ultra of THOMAS). So far, he's voted against a majority of his party four times - and a very bizarre quartet they are, too: RCs 80, 99, 104 and 106.

All of them are on appropriations: 80 (passed 53-46) was on support the Levin amendment for funding for the Advanced Technology Program, an amendment cosponsored by John Kerry!

RC 99, on tsnuami relief passed 91-7, with Feingold joining Allen, Baucus, Boxer, Dodd, Leahy and Mikulski in opposition. (Strange company indeed!)

RC 104 was on a motion to table the Coburn amendment (that, after some study, I don't understand - the Congressional Record description doesn't correspond with the RCV page description!), passed 54-45 - with 26 Republicans and 19 Dems voting against: both parties split right down the middle!

RC 106 (on a Warner amendment against a reduction in the fleet of aircraft carriers) passed 58-38, with Feingold voted against; the tally against was R32, D6.

Pick the bones out of that!

Feingold was only re-elected last November, with a 12 point margin - plenty of room to go off the reservation, or define his own reservation.
But he is pretty much regular to gladden the heart of a Tammany ward-heeler, or Al Franken, whichever is the greatest hack.

So was the vote on the EPA's Johnson a bipartisan arrangement? Did Harry Reid give his marker for one dozen genuine sinners? What was the quid pro quo?

Is no one just the least bit curious about this?

(Just me, then, huh?)

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