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Do They Have the Votes?

Nancy Pelosi is bent on bringing cap-and-trade to a vote in the House tomorrow. But conflicting reports suggest uncertainty as to whether the Democrats in fact have the votes. Roll Call reports:

With her flagship project and the strength of her leadership muscle on the line, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday launched a buzzer-beater: trying to sell skeptical members of her Caucus on sweeping climate change legislation before they break for the July Fourth recess.

But then she’d rather not have Al Gore coming to the Hill, she says, because she has this in the bag. Hmmm. Perhaps Gore isn’t helpful in convincing Blue Dogs that this is a good idea. There are, after all, reasons to be nervous about signing onto a gigantic tax and regulatory measure.  While a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows support for cap-and-trade, that support has dropped and less than half would support it if it meant they would have to spend as little as $25 per month on higher electricity bills. And  joining Warren Buffett, the Michigan Congressman John Dingell reminds us that cap-and-trade is a “big tax.”

Well, perhaps Pelosi has convinced her fellow Democrats this is a good idea. As one House aide says, she may well get over the top by browbeating enough of her members. Besides, she wouldn’t announce a vote without a firm whip count in hand, right? Actually, it wouldn’t be the first time she did that.



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