Green Room

Democrat Massa Resigns – to Squeaker Pelosi’s Gain

posted at 8:47 pm on March 6, 2010 by

Alas, Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 100%) just picked up a vote for ObamaCare. Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY, not yet rated) has announced his resignation from the House effective Monday, due to ethics charges (sexual harassment). On November 7th, 2009, Massa was one of the 39 Democrats who voted against the House ObamaCare bill; see this roll-call vote.

There are two paths forward:

  • Ultra, ultra-liberal New York Gov. David Paterson might appoint a replacement, if state law permits; Paterson would unquestionably appoint a liberal who will vote for ObamaCare, converting Massa’s Nay into a Yea — a big help to Pelosi.
  • If the law does not permit, or if Paterson doesn’t move quickly enough (being embroiled in his own ethics charges — bribery), then Pelosi still gains.

    There currently are only 432 members of the House, instead of the usual 435 (two resigned and one, Jack Murtha, dropped dead); to pass the Senate version of ObamaCare in the House the Democrats need an actual majority… which is 217, because 216 is only 50%.

    But with Massa’s resignation, that leaves only 431 members; and 216 is an actual majority (50.1%) of 431. Since Massa voted against ObamaCare, Pelosi needs one fewer vote from the same number of Yes-men… so she doesn’t even need to convert Massa from Nay to Yea.

Either way, Speaker Pelosi has picked up one net vote since yesterday. So it goes.

However, three other House members are embroiled in their own ethics charges: Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-NY, 100%), Maxine Waters (D-CA, 100%), and Laura Richardson (D-CA, 100%); and each of this lot actually voted for the House version of ObamaCare. Thus if any of them is forced to resign in the next month or so, that would make up for Massa. (If two or three of them leave, that would put even more pressure on the Speaker, of course.)

It’s up, it’s down, it’s a yo-yo.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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Ultra, ultra-liberal New York Gov. David Paterson might appoint a replacement, if state law permits;

The Constitution requires a special election for vacancies in the House:

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies. (Article I, Section 2)

KSgop on March 6, 2010 at 9:01 PM

The disparity in how vacant House seats and Senate seats are filled is a travesty. The greatest failure of the 17th Amendment (other than the Amendment itself) is allowing a State to empower its executive to appoint a replacement – temporary or not. A person who hasn’t been elected by the People has no business casting votes in representation of them.

KSgop on March 6, 2010 at 9:06 PM

The disparity in how vacant House seats and Senate seats are filled is a travesty. The greatest failure of the 17th Amendment (other than the Amendment itself) is allowing a State to empower its executive to appoint a replacement – temporary or not. A person who hasn’t been elected by the People has no business casting votes in representation of them.

KSgop on March 6, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Before the 17th amendment, state legislatures appointed Senators.

So Senators weren’t elected by the people as a standard until the 17th amendment.

Your post contradicts itself a little bit.

But that is why there are such discrepencies between how some states fill vacant Senate seats, based on this text from the amendment itself:

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

The second part of that text does not exist in Article 1, Section 2, Clause 4. I can only assume that the authors of the 17th Amendment felt that leaving a Senate seat vacant should be avoided if at all possible, where House vacancies are irrelevant, which aligns with the original Constitutional requirements.

However before the 17th amendment, state legislatures filled a vacancy. Governors only filled a vacancy if the legislature was on recess, and even that appointment was only temporary until the legislature came back and named a replacement.

The 17th amendment completely stripped the Founding Fathers’ ideas out of the Constitution, eliminating the state legislatures’ role out of U.S. Senate culture.

The idea was to keep U.S. Senators accountable to the STATES, which is all but lost on us today, and look where we are today. Do you really think Virginia’s Democrat Senators Webb and Warner would be voting for Obama’s bullshit if they were accountable to the State Legislature of Virginia?

uknowmorethanme on March 6, 2010 at 10:14 PM

However, three other House members are embroiled in their own ethics charges: Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-NY, 100%), Maxine Waters (D-CA, 100%), and Laura Richardson (D-CA, 100%); and each of this lot actually voted for the House version of ObamaCare. Thus if any of them is forced to resign in the next month or so, that would make up for Massa. (If two or three of them leave, that would put even more pressure on the Speaker, of course.)

She would never dare anger the CBC by asking any of these three to resign. Cold Cash Jefferson was allowed to hold on until he was defeated in an election.

Wethal on March 7, 2010 at 8:16 AM

So I have a question, if the number of votes changes every-time one resigns, why not make them all resign so it takes no votes to win.

Something is very fishy with the logic that when one resigns the votes to passes changes.

Maybe you would like to research the truth on this.

tarpon on March 7, 2010 at 9:07 AM

….So I have a question, if the number of votes changes every-time one resigns, why not make them all resign so it takes no votes to win.

. If the post office can save billions of dollars by eliminating Saturday deliveries, imagine hom much money they can save by eliminating the other 5 days.

percysunshine on March 7, 2010 at 11:54 AM


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