Holy drama, Batman!
So, as we mentioned in the Daily Grist, the House voted today on Rep. Barton’s Gasoline for America’s Security (GAS) Act (PDF) (gag on the Orwell, gag on it!). It’s a big fat wet kiss to the energy industry, easing Clean Air Act provisions to streamline refinery development and codifying the President’s ability to suspend clean-air standards in a state of emergency. It’s a bunch of crap they couldn’t get into this summer’s already craptacular energy bill. To boot, yesterday the House Rules Committee blocked an attempt to include a provision raising CAFE standards.
Well, once again the Republican leadership held what is supposed to be a five-minute floor vote open for nearly 50 minutes, ruthlessly twisting arms and bribing recalcitrant members. Ultimately they jammed the thing through, on a 212-210 vote.
They buttonholed lawmakers for last-minute lobbying as Democrats complained loudly that the vote should be closed. Finally two GOP lawmakers switched from "no" to "yes," giving the bill’s supporters the margin of victory.
"Is this the House of a Banana Republic?" Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., shouted at one point, expressing his frustration about the GOP holdup of the final tally.
As the vote came to an end opponents chanted in unison, "Shame! Shame! Shame!"
I’m beyond knowing whether they’ll pay any political price for this kind of overt corporatism and disrespect for democratic process. But the country’s appetite for House Republican corruption and insensitivity is rapidly declining.
I’ve been burned too many times thinking maybe we’ve reached the tipping point. But … maybe we’ve reached the tipping point.
(GCC has more.)
(TAPPED has still more.)
(Wow! Watch this amazing video of the vote. Unbelievable.)