Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) muscled a $154 billion jobs bill through the House on Wednesday evening just before Congress departed for a holiday recess. With the vote in serious doubt until seconds before it was gaveled to a close, Pelosi worked the floor furiously, imploring her caucus to stick with her and move the measure through.
The bill passed 217-212, but when the time on the clock expired, it was losing 208-212. A few minutes later, when it hit 214-213 and then 215-213, someone shouted “gavel it!” from the Democratic side. A bill doesn’t need the full 218 to pass — only a simple majority of those voting. The presiding officer took the suggestion and closed the vote.
Not a single Republican approved of the bill.
The slim margin is strong evidence that deficit hawks have momentum in the ideological battle between one camp that demands more spending on job creation and another, dominated by the GOP and Blue Dog Democrats, calling for immediate reductions in the deficit. Even the fact that the money was being redirected from Wall Street couldn’t sway 38 Democrats, who voted with the Republicans.
No Blue Dog is going to lose his seat in 2010 because of the size of the deficit or the national debt. Plenty of blue dogs are going to lose their seats because THEIR CONSTITUENTS HAVE NO JOBS. So obviously, the logic is clear if you are a blue dog- vote against the jobs bill.
And no doubt when these idiots lose, some internet activist somewhere will claim it is because Obama is not progressive enough and Rahm Emmanuel hates the netroots.