Just a reminder: House GOP can’t block a bailout bill

posted at 9:40 am on September 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the plenary power to bring a bill to the floor of the House, and no parliamentary procedure can help a minority to block a majority will to pass it.  That’s one fact that has to be remembered while Pelosi and Barney Frank blame the House GOP over the collapse of the bailout bill:

“I didn’t know I was going to be the referee for an internal G.O.P. ideological civil war,” Mr. Frank said, according to The A.P.Thursday, in the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

If Pelosi has her entire caucus in line to support the Paulson plan, then she has the vote to pass it.  Some estimates have as many as 50 Republicans ready to support the plan in defiance of Boehner.  If that’s true, Pelosi could lose all of her Blue-Dog Democrats and still pass the bill.

So why not just call a vote?  Pelosi doesn’t want to get married to George Bush, that’s why.  She wants to spread the political risk and get consensus on a bailout plan so that the responsibility for any failure doesn’t rest solely on her shoulders, at least in the House.  Both Pelosi and Harry Reid wanted John McCain to deliver both GOP caucuses to cover their own butts on the bailout bill, and McCain — at least thus far — hasn’t convinced Boehner to do so.

It appears that Reid has enough Republicans on board to survive a filibuster.  George Bush will happily sign the bill as soon as he gets it from Capitol Hill.  Pelosi could deliver that bill with plenty of votes to spare simply by scheduling a vote.  She lacks the courage to do so.  That’s not the fault of the House GOP.

Update (AP): All of this is true but it’s also why McCain’s going to take the blame if they can’t pass it. Pelosi doesn’t need votes, she needs political cover; Maverick can’t give her the former but, as the GOP’s nominee, he can singlehandedly give her the latter by endorsing the deal. If he doesn’t, the consequences will be laid at his feet.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Rush Limbaugh gave a detailed description of what went down in the White House yesterday on his radio show. Apparently, Pelosi, Reid and the other Democrat Leaders deferred to Obama to lead the discussion. However, instead of acting in a bipartisan manner, Obama decided to rip the Republicans for their policy position on this matter. Obama was suppose to stick to support for the Democrat plan. Instead, he “got in their faces”.

Needless to say,the Republican Leaders led by Boehner responded vigorously to the attack. The meeting was totally derailed by Obama.

One of the items the GOP is having issue with is the amount of money going to ACORN. You might recall ACORN is the vote-fraud promoting group sponsored by Obama.

This meeting was suppose to demonstrate Obama’s leadership skills. I guess it does. Please spread the word, as we need to get the truth out.

Mutnodjmet on September 26, 2008 at 1:17 PM

This bailout plan must be pretty important for Paulson to get down on his knees and beg in front of that monster.

m064404 on September 26, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Political cover works both ways. Stay strong House Republicans. We don’t like the bailout. How often did Democrats give cover to Republicans when Republicans were in the majority? I remember Republicans passing a lot of bills with no Democrat support. I ask which party has the courage of its convictions and which party is all about retaining power?

Angry Dumbo on September 26, 2008 at 3:01 PM

It doesn’t surprise me this Congress can’t get its act together and actually do the right thing. And it pisses me off that 1) most people don’t understand that it’s a lot of Democrat pushed policies causing all this and 2) the Democrats can’t/won’t learn it’s their frickin’ policies that’s causing all this. I’m mad at the Republicans too, but I can’t put that mad into coherent thoughts quite yet. Maybe for being so bloody helpless in the face of all this.

At the beginning of the bubble burst, I was cynical enough to think the Dems were engineering it on purpose so when (so they believe) Obama was elected, he would come in and save the day. The only kink in that plan is that Democrats have 0 clue on how the economy, capitalism, and the market work. And so here we are.

Bailing out ACORN and people foreclosing on their houses peeves me, too.

wherestherum on September 26, 2008 at 3:09 PM

All of this is true but it’s also why McCain’s going to take the blame if they can’t pass it. Pelosi doesn’t need votes, she needs political cover; Maverick can’t give her the former but, as the GOP’s nominee, he can singlehandedly give her the latter by endorsing the deal

McCain had his chance to support the bill and passed. If Republicans try to negotiate the current plan, they will get their way and remove the provisions that are the most objectionable. Hopefully this will happen. Because if the Dems have to pass the bill without any GOP House support, they will add even more giveaway provisions to irresponsible home owners and low income residents.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Any compromise is also expected to require the government to obtain partial ownership of any company it invests in.

Democrats signaled they were considering jettisoning some of their own priorities.
Frank indicated they might ultimately drop a requirement that a portion of any profits from the rescue be funneled to a fund to build housing for low-income people. That mandate, deeply unpopular with Republicans, “is not an essential,” Frank said.
Additionally, Obama said earlier in the week he hoped Democrats would not press a proposal giving bankruptcy judges the power to ease mortgage terms for homeowners.

bayam on September 26, 2008 at 5:33 PM

Bailing out ACORN and people foreclosing on their houses peeves me, too.

I completely agree, but Frank has indcated that the ACORN stuff is non-essential and can be dropped. All the House GOP has to do is support the overall rescue plan.

…they might ultimately drop a requirement that a portion of any profits from the rescue be funneled to a fund to build housing for low-income people. That mandate, deeply unpopular with Republicans, “is not an essential,” Frank said

bayam on September 26, 2008 at 5:35 PM

When does America demand that politicians rise above their silly party lines and do the right thing. This really calls for a revolt of some kind.

fbcmusicman on September 26, 2008 at 10:25 AM

I’m telling you, in another generation, you will have revolts, a rebellion, maybe a secession.

When Rome declined, it SPLIT.

In the long-term needs to split along RED/BLUE state lines / philosophies. As the Dems try to pass the Fairness Doctrine, the rifles should be ready, and state leaders need to start asking the question:

Does it make sense to be a part of the USA anymore? Is Freedom worth the struggle to secede? Will CA vote to secede and join Mexico once the number of latinos rises to well over half the state’s population within the next 100 years?

I’m not saying make the call today, but in another generation, as the decline of the USA continues, will we be able to break up in a pragmatic way without too much bloodshed, or will it be another total war like back in 1861-65?

Sorry, but I’m kind of a history buff.

Sapwolf on September 26, 2008 at 5:44 PM

Will CA vote to secede and join Mexico once the number of latinos rises to well over half the state’s population within the next 100 years?

Actually whites and Latinos get along fairly well in this state, if you look beyond the fringe. But you should ask that question about other Western states where whites have been on the warpath against immigrants. That’s where the strains will be found.

bayam on September 26, 2008 at 6:20 PM

Is it me, or does Speaker Pelosi appear to be suffering Botox rejection. In a montogue of photos her eyes appear to be bugging out of their sockets, and her cheeks look to be sinking.

MSGTAS on September 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM