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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

Just got to 218+, per C-SPAN:

H.R. 2454       YEA    NAY    NV
DEMOCRATIC 211 44 1
REPUBLICAN 8 168 2
INDEPENDENT
TOTALS 219 212 3

Not a lot of room to spare, though. It sort of limped across the finish line, with almost almost all of the votes in the last two minutes or so coming in on the nay side once it had clinched passage.

We don’t know who the individual nays and yeas are, but it looks like Pelosi and Waxman got 6 of 21 Republican fence-sitters and 25 of 52 Democratic ones. There may also have been a couple of liberal votes against the bill, although some liberals who were contemplating voting against the bill, like Lloyd Doggett of Texas, wound up not doing so.

UPDATED: Here’s the roll call. There were at least three liberal no’s — Stark, DeFazio, and Kucinich.

So, how does this bill pass the 60-vote Senate with such a narrow margin in the House? Well, maybe — probably? — it won’t. But the Senate will be voting on a somewhat different bill, at a somewhat different time in the legislative calendar, and its members have somewhat different prerogatives. Fewer of them are under re-election pressure. And Obama — wisely, I think — has conserved a lot of his political muscle for the Senate fight. Then again, who knows how much political muscle he’ll have left depending on how health care and the economy go.

Three current Republican Senators — Snowe, Collins and Mel Martinez — voted for cloture on the Liberman-Warner climate bill last year (so did four Republican senators who have since left the Senate). Six other surviving Republicans — Graham, Gregg, McCain, Murkowski, Cornyn, DeMint — did not vote on cloture. Cornyn and DeMint are staunch conservatives who were probably out of the office that day, but the other four are maybe gettable.

On the other hand, several Democrats voted against cloture, and several others declined to vote. Someone like Mary Landireu of Louisana is not very likely to vote for this bill, certainly, and there will have to be some sausage-rolling to get farm and coal state Democrats like Kent Conrad and Robert Byrd on board.

The point is this: I don’t think there are 41 solid ‘no’s in the Senate — not yet. There might be 37 or 38 or 39, but not 41. And as long as that’s the case, there’s some daylight for the White House. But it won’t be easy, and if environmental advocates didn’t like the version that came out of the House, they aren’t liable to be any more pleased with whatever has an opportunity to make it though the Senate.

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