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Climate Bill Vote

Climate Bill Vote

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House Dems Prepare to Gamble on Climate Bill Vote Sign In to E-MailPrint Single Page By DARREN SAMUELSOHN AND BEN GEMAN of ClimateWirePublished: June 26, 2009 House Democratic leaders appear ready to roll the dice by moving ahead with a floor debate on energy and global warming legislation despite not knowing if they have the 218 votes needed to pass the bill.Skip to next paragraphMore News From ClimateWireHouse Dems Improve Climate Bill's Chances for Floor Win With Deal on Ag IssuesFarm Groups Prevail as House Climate Bill Puts USDA in Charge of Ag OffsetsClimate Changing? Uncle Sam Wants Your ObservationsHouse Dems Release Revised Climate Bill as Floor Debate Eyed for FridayA Sea Change in China's Attitude Toward Carbon Capture A blog about energy, the environment and the bottom line.Go to Blog �Emerging shortly after midnight following a more than two-hour meeting in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, several top Democrats expressed cautious optimism about their ability to pass the sweeping bill (pdf), now called H.R.

2998, that would establish a mandatory cap-and-trade program to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

(pdf)"We could be there," Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told E&E.

"We've got to assure ourselves that we are.

But we could be there.

What I'm saying is we could have them, but there are some that are not 'Yeah, no doubt about it.'"Hoyer said Democrats will likely start the day with a debate over the rule on the climate bill, which had not been finished as of 1 a.m.


After that, they are not sure if they will move directly to the actual bill or complete consideration of the fiscal 2010 spending bill for the Interior Department and U.S.

EPA.As for the climate bill, the Democrats were clearly nervous about pushing for a floor debate on an issue that makes many of their own rank-and-file members uneasy.Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said the plan was to pass the climate bill today, even if it is with the slimmest of margins.

"We wouldn't go if we didn't think we had them," he said.

"It's going to be close."Throughout the day, different sources offered up different projected whip counts on what is set to be the first-ever House floor vote on cap-and-trade legislation."I'm not confident about anything," said Rep.

Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a lead member of the Democratic whip team.

"But I will say we are closing in on the numbers.

We feel good about the way things are going today."Even Obama played a big role yesterday, working the phones and visiting with several fence-sitting members at the White House as his aides eyed the razor-thin margin."I can't stress enough the importance of this vote," Obama said during a quickly arranged Rose Garden speech yesterday to promote the bill.

"I know it's going to be a close vote, partially because of the misinformation that's out there that suggests there's somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and our economic growth."Last-minute maneuveringWhile several Democrats signaled a victory, E&E's analysis continues to show a more conservative outlook, with 185 solid "yes" votes and about 80 fence-sitters from a cross section of largely rural and heavy industry districts.Several House Democrats held back yesterday from making any commitments, suggesting they would wait until the buzzer sounds."I'm not going to make a decision until I see the final deal," said Rep.

Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), a leader of the House Blue Dog Coalition.

"And that thing changes.

It may change right up until the vote.

That's probably why I won't make a decision until right at the end."Rep.

Kathy Dahlkamper (D-Pa.) said she has received lots of attention from the Obama administration in recent days.

Asked if anyone has told her she could be the deciding vote on the floor, the freshman from Erie replied, "No they haven't.

See, if I vote early, then I won't be.

It depends on when you vote, whether you're the make-or-break vote."Another freshman, Rep.

Eric Massa (D-N.Y.), said he is still holding out until some regional issues get addressed, including international offsets and rewards for existing hydropower.

"There's a lot of things that have happened, and a lot of things that are happening, and we'll see how it all ends up tomorrow," he said.

"There's still a lot of work going on tonight."Pelosi personally worked reluctant members on the House floor, including an exchange with Rep.

Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).A handful of uncommitted Democrats also got a special invitation while meeting yesterday at the White House with Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

"Those that were undecided got a tap on the shoulder and met with the president," said Rep.

Tim Walz (D-Minn.), who already has said he will vote for the bill and, therefore, did not get a tap.The seven sophomore Democrats at the meeting with Emanuel were Reps.

Yvette Clarke of New York, Joe Donnelly and Baron Hill of Indiana, Ron Klein of Florida, Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, Betsy Sutton of Ohio and Walz.

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