Congressional Poker: The Energy Bill Hits the House Floor

High drama on the House floor this afternoon.

In just a few hours we will know if Nancy Pelosi has the votes to pass the controversial so-called cap-and-trade energy bill.

Loads of questions at this hour. Are the votes there? Why is Pelosi putting some of her centrists in harm’s way with a vote like this when the Senate may not take the bill up until the fall? How many of her liberals have fallen off because they think the bill has been tweaked too much to appease the moderates? On and on.

The GOP has already announced that they will make today’s vote on “cap-and-tax” (as they call it) a major issue come next year’s midterm elections. Lots of folks are comparing this to Bill Clinton’s economic stimulus bill vote of 1993 when Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky of Pennsylvania walked slowly down the aisle and gave Clinton the one-vote margin he needed to pass the bill.

On the floor on the day of the Clinton vote, House Republicans delightedly waved their hands saying “Goodbye” to Margolies-Mezvinsky as she cast her vote. Although the economy went on to roar during the Clinton years, Margolies-Mezvinsky, like many Democrats, indeed, was out of a job when November of 1994 rolled around.

Hard to say if we get that kind of drama today, but this is the kind of day that gives our friends at C-SPAN a real spike in the ratings and a nice break from all the Michael Jackson coverage.

By the way — for all you congressional trivia buffs — who knows what major D.C. reporter served as press secretary for Margolies-Mezvinsky during that time? Gold stars for all those who answer correctly.

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