The Vote on the Clean Energy Bill

Tonight’s vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act was the closest so far on a final bill in the House this year. The legislation passed by just seven votes (219-212), with eight Republican “yeas” providing the margin. Forty-four Democrats voted no. The Republicans in favor were you usual handful of threatened “moderates,” with Chris Smith of New Jersey being the closest thing to an outlier:

District Representative PVI
NJ-04 Smith, Chris R+6
CA-45 Bono Mack R+3
NJ-07 Lance R+3
NY-23 McHugh R+1
WA-08 Reichert D+3
NJ-02 LoBiondo D+1
IL-10 Kirk D+6
DE-AL Castle D+7

Meanwhile, the Democrats opposed were almost entirely from conservative districts, with a few liberal purity votes and a classic Artur Davis defection thrown in:

District Representative PVI District Representative PVI
CA-13 Stark D+22 PA-17 Holden R+6
AL-07 Davis, Artur D+18 AZ-01 Kirkpatrick R+6
OH-10 Kucinich D+8 WV-03 Rahall R+6
IN-01 Visclosky D+8 TN-08 Tanner R+6
CA-20 Costa D+5 AR-04 Ross R+7
IL-12 Costello D+3 AR-01 Berry R+8
OR-04 DeFazio D+2 PA-10 Carney R+8
GA-12 Barrow D+1 IN-08 Ellsworth R+8
IL14 Foster R+1 SD-AL Herseth Sandlin R+9
NY-24 Arcuri R+2 WV-01 Mollohan R+9
IN-02 Donnelly R+2 GA-08 Marshall R+10
NC-08 Kissell R+2 ND-AL Pomeroy R+10
TX-27 Ortiz R+2 AL-05 Griffith R+12
OH-06 Wilson, Charlie R+2 LA-03 Melancon R+12
PA-03 Dahlkemper R+3 OK-02 Boren R+14
TX-23 Rodriguez R+4 MS-01 Childers R+14
NY-29 Massa R+5 TN-04 Davis, Lincoln R+14
NC-07 McIntyre R+5 UT-02 Matheson R+15
AZ-05 Mitchell R+5 AL-02 Bright R+16
VA-02 Nye R+5 ID-01 Minnick R+18
CO-03 Salazar R+5 TX-17 Edwards, Chet R+20
PA-04 Altmire R+6 MS-04 Taylor R+20

Among Dems in D+ seats that we don’t typically see on lists like this, Pete Stark called the bill “watered-down,” Visclosky said it would cost jobs in the Northern Indiana steel industry, Jim Costa’s objection is inscrutable, and Jerry Costello has nothing on his website, though a tradmed story paraphrased him as believing the legislation would “result in higher electric bills.”

86 thoughts on “The Vote on the Clean Energy Bill”

  1. Larry Kissell – ?? WTF?

    Mike McIntire – Not the next Senator from N.C.

    Not on the list: Heath Shuler. One Blue Dog who got the vote right. It’s good to be able to count on Shuler when it comes to the environment.

  2. Although you correctly list Mitchell as from a Republican district (and his record has proven fairly blue-dog), his “no” vote was because the bill had been too weakened.  He was elected in 2006 with strong environmental credentials and progressive punch gives him a 100% on the environment.  (I wonder how they will score this vote?)  

    In an e-mail (and thus, no link), Mitchell states:  

    “I approached this bill asking myself two questions: First, would this bill fight global climate change by reducing carbon emissions and make the investments we need in renewable energy? Second, would this bill provide the opportunity for states like Arizona, to become the center of a new, sustainable green economy?

    Unfortunately, the answer is no – not in its current form.

    To say that I’m disappointed is an understatement. Instead of working towards truly meaningful reform, this debate has turned into a political game with concession after concession, from the coal industry to wealthy farmers, all with the intention of running up the vote tally rather than strengthening the bill.”

    I suspect that if the Dems really needed a vote for passage, they had several pro-environmental reps who voted “no” but would have fallen into line if they had to.  

  3. -Thank god Arthur Davis is off to get humiliated in the gubernatorial race… good riddance.

    -I don’t even want to image how weak this bill will be if it somehow gets through the senate.

    -It’s very sad that a bill this watered down still got around 40 no votes from dems.  On the great netroots debate between the open left style purity and the ssp practicality, I generally side with ssp… but there a several democrats in congress, namely Collin Peterson, who I think we would be better off without.

  4. One of these days the likes of Kucinich (seemingly he has formed his own party of no) are going to embarrass the leadership and the president.

  5. well..this helps make up my mind.  Unless someone tells me that Defazio voted no out of purity…I’ll donate to Khitzaber.  

  6. Visclosky is mired in ethical issues and represents about a 65% Obama-voting district yet is a blue dog. And Kuicinich, who belongs with Republicans in a party all of his own; he’s one of the few Democrats in congress who seems to think like a Republican, demanding complete purity.

    Gotta say kudos to Heath Shuler on this vote, though it was disappointing to see every rural, slash conservative  Democratic Congressman vote against cleaner environmental standards, siding with big business over the long term health and general welfare of their constitiuents, disgraceful really.

    Also gotta say big kudos Frank Kratovil, of course the Eastern Shore is conservative and Republican, but still very pro-environment, this is the sort of bill Gilchrest would have backed as well. Thank you Vic Synder for once again showing why you are the best Arkansas Democrat.

    What I found most hilarious about this list is Ciro Rodriguez’s placement on it, while Cuellar was not. Hmmm….wasn’t Cuellar the guy Dkos attacked visciously and raised what? 500,000 dollars to defeat in 2006 after he ousted Rodriguez in 2004, for hte reason that he was an intolerable conservative Republican acting like a Democrat? I never got that one. Rodriguez has been more conservative than him lately and there never appeared to be that big an ideological gap between them except when Ciro needed one to raise money.

    That said I don’t think it was neccessary for Arcuri to vote against, Boehlert likely wouldn’t have and upstate New York Republicans even tend to be fairly pro-environment. The same for the Jersey Republicans, Smith is a leader in theparty on the environment, and seems to be a genuine moderate on issues other than abortion.

    Those are my thoughts on the whole thing.

  7. Redstate is flipping out over Mark Kirk voting for the bill.

    One of their directors (Neil) it seems lives in Bono-Mack’s district and seems ready for her hide as well. Decent talk on Chris Smith as well.

    Bills can always be improved in the future, but as someone who became politically aware because of the environment, I am happy this thing passed.

  8. I’m going to steal this directly from Burnt Orange Report.


    Rodriguez had told leadership that he was a likely yes — but then cast a quick “no” vote and practically sprinted from the chamber, frustrating floor managers whose shouts of “Rodriguez!” rang through the House as the final anxious votes were cast.

    At one point, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner bounced from a huddle of leadership members and began calling the rep’s name, like a wayward toddler, as he scanned the Speaker’s lobby and the adjacent balcony.

    “He cast his no and then ran the hell out of there,” said a member of the whipping team, still steaming after the vote. “We tried him at his office and they said he was gone.”

    Should be a fun explanation come Monday. Also, I’ve noticed Ortiz has an exceptionally low score on LCV, meaning poor environmental record. Ortiz is getting up there and hopefully will retire soon, I just hope his replacement is not State Rep. Solomon Ortiz Jr.

  9. FL-24 Kosmas (R+4)

    OH-16 Boccieri (R+4)

    VA-05 Perriello (R+5)

    CO-04 Markey (R+6)

    NM-02 Teague (R+6)

    MD-01 Kratovil (R+13)

    Teague has been a very pleasant surprise given his background.  All 6 in this group deserve support in 2010, unlike some of their less courageous colleagues.

    Among Republicans, the two freshmen in the most Democratic districts voted No:

    LA-02 Cao (D+25)

    MN-03 Paulsen (R+0)

    Paulsen has cast almost no progressive votes so far this year according to Progressive Punch:

    0% on crucial votes

    9% overall

    Those who voted for Paulsen thinking he would be like Jim Ramstad made a big mistake.  Paulsen should get a top tier opponenent in 2010.

  10. should be ashamed of himself.  For almost a quarter century, his predecessor, Sherwood Boehlert, was the Republican voice of sanity on the environment.  He opposed his party on issues such as CAFE standards, acid rain, and Superfund.

    Despite the R+2 PVI, a yes vote on cap and trade would not have harmed Arcuri in this district.

  11. Note the two “no” votes from Ohio. as noted above, Dennis is nuts and charlie is a bit of a slob. Definitely too cozy with coal.  sigh…

  12. actually praises Maj. Whip Clyburn for extremely accurate political calculations.

    I’m still surprised the following people voted for it:

    * Besty Markey (though she’s in a rapidly blueing district)

    * Gabby Giffords

    * Frank Kratovil (who’s probably in the most brutal district outside of Texas, the south, and the mountain west)

    * Tom Perriello (seems quite brave for a frosh who won by a hair’s-width margin)

    * Vic Snyder (when the rest of his delegation didn’t)

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