Friday, June 26, 2009

Climate Bill Arm Twisting

From Troy Newmyer at Roll Call:
Throughout the day [Thursday], Pelosi and her deputies could be seen stalking the aisles of the House chamber during votes, buttonholing their slowly shrinking list of targets.
But several Democratic moderates said they continue to harbor reservations about the bill. Their concerns ranged from the general — as lawmakers struggled to get familiar with a complex and sprawling measure that clocked in at 1,201 pages — to the parochial.
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) said he is leaning against the bill, pending the addition of a provision to support projects to convert waste products into energy, a home-state industry. Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio), one of many to field a call from Obama, said he is pushing for the authorization of a Midwestern power marketing authority. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) was facing intense pressure from leaders and the White House, including a call from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, a friend from her tenure in the House and a neighbor at his condo complex. Cuellar has described himself as “leaning no,” since farm groups back home remain opposed. But the Texas Democrat said a call from Obama was having an impact on his thinking. “He’s pretty persuasive,” he said of the president.
Democratic leaders are hoping to pick up five to 10 moderate Republicans, and they also trained their fire on those lawmakers on Thursday.
At one point, Pelosi chased after Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.) as he passed by in the hall to gauge his support on the bill.
“Well, we’re still thinking about it,” Johnson said.
Pelosi, holding Johnson’s arm and smiling, replied, “Still thinking. If you have any questions, give me a call.”

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