20 comments posted · 4 followers · following 5
Pelosi forced members to postpone their trips abroad to stay in town for the vote, aides familiar with the situation said. At one point, she even promised to escort one member out to the airport in her motorcade to catch an early flight — as House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stalled the proceedings with an hourlong reading from the 300-page manager’s amendment.
California Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a master of floor procedure who left the House on Friday to take a top job at the State Department, may have made the biggest personal sacrifice by postponing a dinner the night before her wedding to preside over the debate — her last as a member of Congress.
When another Californian, Rep. Joe Baca, declared himself undeclared, Pelosi and her whip team surrounded him — and burst out into applause when he cast one of the decisive “yes” votes, according to an eyewitness.
Members who wanted to be spared of the Pelosi treatment — slinked in and out of the chamber hoping the speaker wouldn’t notice them.
Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) — another progressive who didn’t think the bill was strong enough — was an especially elusive target, according to leadership aides. Pelosi’s attempts to contact Filner early Friday weren’t successful, staffers say, but she began lobbying him furiously when he showed up for a series of procedural votes leading up to the fateful climate change measure.
After Baca and others had cast their “yeas,” the speaker walked up to Filner and calmly said, “It’s now your time to be on the record, Mr. Filner,” according to a witness.
He voted yes.
Despite the most coordinated push yet between Democrats on the Hill and the Obama White House, the outcome was not certain until the very end, according to two dozen aides and members of Congress interviewed by POLITICO.
“It was really never a solid ,” one person said afterward.
Party leaders agreed to bring the bill to the floor during a meeting Monday night, even though some of the members present had reservations about forcing vulnerable Democrats to cast votes on a package that may not go anywhere in the Senate.
In the days leading up the vote, the number of Democratic “yes” votes was locked at 200, according to people familiar with the tally. Every time they’d pick up one vote, another would slip. Democratic leaders needed a cushion to help protect the most vulnerable among them, and they didn’t have it.
As the frustration grew, an aide joked in one meeting that White House staff should give fence-sitters the same colored leis so that the president and his Cabinet secretaries would know who to buttonhole. The desperation was such that others in the room paused for a split second to consider the joke before abandoning it as a logistical impossibility.
During the luau, Clyburn set up shop in the Oval Office with Obama to meet with wavering Democrats, like freshmen Reps. Frank Kratovil Jr. of Maryland and Eric Massa of New York. Members of Clyburn’s whip team patrolled the White House lawn, cornering colleagues and making the case for the bill.
As the week wore on, Pelosi was directing former Vice President Al Gore whom to call, but everyone decided late Wednesday night that the list of undecided members was small enough that he should stay in Nashville, Tenn., to make calls.
On the day of the vote, the bleary-eyed tag team of Pelosi and Clyburn camped out in the cloakroom, just off the House floor, for nearly three hours.
One of Pelosi’s first targets was Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), a key fence-sitter who wanted more money generated from the carbon trading to be directed to the research and development of green technology.
Pelosi talked to him again and again, but he wouldn’t budge. Her message to him was the same as it was to others: It wasn’t worth voting against the bill because of what wasn’t in it.
According to witnesses, Pelosi perched herself on the arm of Holt’s chair and went nose to nose with him for a half-hour warning him that his no vote could scuttle the entire climate change effort — and that liberals would have another chance to make their case once the bill came back from the Senate.
Around 2 o’clock, he became a “yes.”
Next up was Austin, Texas, liberal Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who had seemed to be leaning toward the bill during a Thursday night visit with Obama in the Oval Office — but then infuriated the White House midday Friday by declaring the measure too weak on polluters to win his vote.
An exasperated White House staffer told POLITICO it was “stunning that he would ignore the wishes not just of his president but of his constituents and the country.”
Then Pelosi began working Doggett as the two stood in the back of the chamber near the railing, making the same perfect-is-enemy-of-the-good argument she had used against Holt. Doggett ended up voting “yes.”During the vote, Washington Rep. Jay Inslee, one of the taller members of the House, guarded the doors on the floor leading out to the Speaker’s Lobby, warning members not to leave the floor in case anyone needed to switch his or her vote. But that didn’t stop some Democrats, like Colorado Rep. John Salazar, from voting no early and sneaking out to avoid getting pressured by party leaders.
Leadership aides say Texas Rep. Ciro Rodriguez promised Pelosi he’d vote yes, but voted no and sprinted from the chamber. California Rep. Xavier Becerra tried unsuccessfully to flag him on his cell phone — and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) bounded into the ornate Speaker’s Lobby off the floor shouting, “Rodriguez! Rodriguez!” as puzzled reporters looked on.
tHIS IS AN ARTICLE i FOUND THAT WAS WRITTEN BY politico...THE TITLE IS MY OWN!
After lawmakers had devoured the last of the Kalua Pig at last Thursday night’s White House Luau, Nancy Pelosi summoned her team back to the Capitol — to ensure the climate change bill wasn’t the next thing roasted on the spit.
Pelosi and her top lieutenants would spend the next four hours whipping, cajoling, begging and browbeating undecided Democrats — and triple-checking their whip lists to decide who was a solid “yes” and who was prevaricating on the cap-and-trade legislation.
Yet no matter how many calls they made — or how many times they checked and rechecked their list — Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) kept coming up between 12 and 20 votes short of the 216 votes needed to win.
“We didn’t have the votes — and we had to have this vote,” said a leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This was the big one for us. [Pelosi] staked her prestige on this one. ... This was her flagship issue, and this was a flagship vote for us.”
The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 passed by only 219-212, after an epic day replete with Republican ambushes, petty betrayals, hastily rearranged flights and disappearing acts.
Yet for all the apparent chaos, the action was commanded by a House speaker maneuvering with the urgency of someone who knew her reputation was on the line.
Despite Republican promises to punish battleground state Democrats for supporting a “cap and tax” plan, Pelosi and her fractious caucus passed their most serious test to date.
And whatever the fallout, aides say that both Pelosi and President Barack Obama now know that their majority can hold together — barely — when placed under withering pressure — which may bode well for the equally arduous trials on health care reform.
At the end of it all, Pelosi, who floated in and out of the House cloakroom all day, impossible to miss in an arctic-white linen pantsuit, gambled big and pulled off one of the most important legislative victories of her career, a win she views as a personal vindication, according to those close to the San Francisco Democrat.
“There’s no question about it,” Clyburn said after the vote. “She went back to her whipping days of old. She is an incredibly good whip. I’m trying to learn from her every day.”
Kenneth J. Bennett
CT state resident
Future candidate for State Senate
Good afternoon, my name is Kenneth J. Bennett and I am looking forward to becoming infinitely familiar with the residents of the great state of Connecticut. I was born in Ann Arbor, MI in March of 1970. I grew up next to the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado, graduating from John F. Kennedy High School in 1988. I joined the US Navy in March of 1993 and will be retiring from service in January of 2012. I now reside in the beautiful countryside of Willimantic, CT with my wife, Kathleen Bennett, and my two lovely daughters Aloura, age 5, and Natalie, age 1-1/2. We are expecting our third child in December 2009.
I have traveled around the globe and I have seen many countries, met many great people and witnessed numerous cultures outside our own. I have also realized, in these life experiences, that the United States is, by far, the greatest country and I am very proud to be a citizen of our free land. I have also been extremely fascinated by politics, government and law for as long as I can remember. However, now more than ever, I fear that our country is heading in a direction that will irrevocably change its course. This is why I have decided to stand up, raise my voice and call upon all the free people of this great nation to listen and take action.
I do not care about party lines because the damage being done to this country affects all of us. I do not care about a persons race, creed, color, religion or sexual preference because the tyranny placed before us is blind to all of these things. I care about standing up for the ideas and values that forged this country from the grips of oppression. We are standing by and watching our freedoms and beliefs disappear before our very eyes…..and I say to this…. NO MORE!!!
The wait is over, and I choose action over silence. I believe that each free citizen has a voice and that voice MUST be heard. Our ancestors shed their blood to give each man, woman and child of this great nation the opportunities of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How can we stand by and deny these God-given rights to our future generations? The gift of freedom runs through our veins and it must be passed on to ensure that the future of our world remains free of tyranny.
Thus, I have made my choice to become a public servant of the great state of Connecticut in 2012. I wish to bring about integrity, honor and courage to a Government that has lost all knowledge of its people. Our representatives in office no longer respect the office they hold, they choose only to advance their own agendas. This self-serving cycle must be stopped and we must hold each public servant accountable for their actions. Government cannot work for the people when the people have been left out of the process. This is as much our fault as it is the representatives that we have elected into office. Thus, I want to help bring about a new era of politics that embraces the core values that our founding fathers had envisioned.
I believe that this can be done by bringing the people back into the cycle of Government. We need to address the real issues that our state faces by talking and listening to the people that live within its borders. We have the answers to solve our own problems; we just need true and honest efforts from our public servants and the unwavering fortitude of our citizens to right the wrongs of the past. I do not fear making choices, because the choices I make will be the true will of the people; no matter how hard those choices may be or what consequences they bring about. Thank you for your time and I look forward to serving you with honor.
COPY AND PASTE BELOW:
I respectfully request that you vote "NAY" to this bill. This is due to the fact that this bill, as I have read, will push manufacturers and parts dealers into specific mandatory outputs as each year passes. This will put prices out of reach for average Americans, and those that cannot afford the new "eco" vehicles will pay higher taxes for their "non-eco" vehicles. Also, the bill presents utilitiy companies with requirements to purchase "clean energy" sources, which will affect the average American in his utility costs. This bill is going to hurt this country as written. I do agree that we need to pursue cleaner, more efficient energy, but not at the expense of our current weakened economic situation. Take a step back and spend more time finding better avenues......like nuclear power maybe???
I am neither a Republican or a Democrat....so I do not care what party is in power. Right now our Government is being led by incompetent fools....from both sides. What you do not understand is that I have a right to speak my mind to any elected official, no matter who they represent. I am a taxpaying American citizen, and I will be heard, no matter who likes it. We need a clean sweep of the entire Congressional body, because every one of them have lost touch with the real world. They live in their own little fantasy land, and we are the audience looking into the "boob tube"...the only difference is that the ratings don't affect the show. Congrats to you and your party, if that is how you measure your political worth. I measure success on how it is affecting the people of this nation, and right now we are getting stomped into the dirt by bureaucratic tyrants. NO MORE!!!! I AM STANDING UP AGAINST THE OPPRESSION and so are many other great Americans. So, sit back and do nothing if you wish, of live in your so-called victory, but I assure you, the tyranny will end, because the true Americans will win the war.
On Thursday, June 18th I was watching FOXNEWS and saw the clip from the Senate Committee hearing on the New Orleans levees. This was in regard to the arrogant comments made by Sen. Barbara Boxer toward the Brigadere General she was questioning. Since I am in the military, it did not sit very well with me, and I decided to call her DC office to express my opinion on this matter. Now, you are probably thinking that this is too trivial based on all the other major issues going on in our country and the world. However, I will show you exactly why it is not.
I called her DC office on 19 June and tried to leave a message on her voicemail, but it was full. I followed that up by speaking to one of her DC office staffers. I was asked if I was from CA. I politely said "No" and I was immediately told that they only speak to CA constituents and to have a nice day. The last time I looked, these Congressmen and women were elected officials, and if I want to speak to one of them, it is my right as an American citizen to question my government representatives no matter what state that they represent.
I was so angered, I immediately called my representative, Joe Courtney (boooooo) and told his staff how I was treated and that I wanted him to relay my message to the arrogant Sen. Barbara Boxer. However, I did not feel satisfied that my message would be relayed, since they are in the same party. Therefore, I called a Republican aquaintence of mine in MA. He gave me the advice to call the GOP committee, headed by Michael Steele, and express my concerns to them. I felt that was sound advice and that they would be ready to jump on any chance of going after the liberal left.
Well, this is where it takes a phenomenal turn......I spoke to a GOP staffer that literally blew my mind with his suggestion to me about my concerns. This is what the GOP committee staffer told me to do:
"Well, we are the minority party right now and we do not really have any power to do anything about it. I think that you should run for office and help bring the Republican party back into power."
If I had the power to shove my fist through the phone and choke the crap out of this idiot, I would have done it!!! I already have plans to run for office....look at my past posts on this website, but I will be dammed that I will run for a party that has no backbone. I want to represent the people of the USA....the people who have been left behind by our own Government so that they can live for their agendas using our money. I want to be the voice and the backbone for all the people who are being trampled down by a Government that has no clue what Americans really want and really need.
This is about the fact that these are all elected officials and that they answer to the people of this great nation....not the other way around. I WILL BE THAT LEADER...I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. I am asking everyone that reads this post to call their representative and tell them how you feel about issues that matter to you and what issues matter to your neighbors and your community. Our silence is what gives them power. We will no longer be silent. STAND UP AND FIGHT THE HARDEST FIGHT YOU WILL EVER HAVE IN YOUR LIFETIME. Do it for yourself, for your families, for the future generations, and for the people that are too afraid to stand up. I AM NOT AFRAID!!! I WILL BE YOUR VOICE!!!
Thank you for your time and your support!!!
I believe that we need to take action as addressed in the Constitution of the United States regarding impeachments of government officials. As a United states citizen, I am asking my representative to enact impeachment proceedings against Senator Chris Dodd, regarding perjury of AIG bonuses. I would also like impeachment proceedings to be enacted on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding perjury about the accusations made of the CIA and the false statements of her true knowledge about CIA interrogation tactics. I believe these proceedings need to happen to ensure that justice can be done and that truths can be learned. If the truth shows that they are innocent, then I accept that ruling, because it is done by the law of our land. I urge you to speak to your coworkers to start these proceedings. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your actions.