Eight Republicans make Pelosi’s job easier

As John notes below, the House passed cap-and-trade energy tax legislation last night even though no complete copy of that legislation existed, making it impossible for our representatives to know exactly what they were voting on. The vote was 219-212.

Eight Republicans voted in favor of the legislation. They are: Mary Bono (CA), Mike Castle (DE), Mark Kirk (IL), Leonard Lance (NJ), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), John McHugh (NY), and David Reichert (WA).

It doesn’t follow that these Republican votes (or at least four them) were critical to the passage of cap-and-trade. In the absence of Republican support, the Democratic leadership probably would have forced the necessary number of reluctant Dems to vote for the measure, instead of letting them off the hook.

But the eight Republicans still (a) voted for job-killing legislation rushed through before anyone could know exactly what it entails and (b) gave aid and comfort to some Democratic representatives by enabling them to avoid paying a political price for a “yea” vote they were prepared to provide if Speaker Pelosi needed it.

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