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Cap and tax liveblog: Democrats limit debate, stampede toward national energy tax

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 26, 2009 09:38 AM


STAMPEDE!

Scroll for continuous updates…there will be 3 hours of general debate and a grand total of 1 GOP amendment…

9:36am: GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is on the House floor right now blasting Dems, who just moved to limit debate. It’s “unacceptable” and “undemocratic,” says Sessions. Proposals to protect farmers and agriculture won’t be considered. Sessions recounts meetings at 2am, being handed massive, new 300-page amendment. “No one has read this bill.”

“Why are we rushing to do this with a trillion dollar spending plan that will result in killing jobs and make it more difficult for us to come out of recession?”

9:57am: Dem. Rep Castor claims this mad-rush boondoggle will “bolster science.” (Insert bitter laughter). Channels all the previous apocalpytic rhetoric swilled before every bailout: “What if we don’t act!? We can’t afford not to act?!”

Chicken Little with a green coat.

10:02am: GOP Rep. Pence blasts “embarrassingly short” debate on behemoth bill. Says there are reports that there are new trade restriction in the bill, but who knows. No has read the bill. The way the bill is coming to the floor should be disturbing to every American. Last night at 3:00am, House Dems filed 309-page amendment and denied 224 GOP amendments. Three hours, 1 amendment filed. What’s the hurry? What are we hiding – that we can’t afford more time for Americans to examine what’s in the bill? What’s in it? Corporate welfare? Special provisions to placate members? Majority just denied us one additional minute of debate?! This is not Congress! I don’t know what this is…a travesty!

Pence also mentioned that Dems shaved another minute from the GOP’s time.

10:14am: Crikey. Sheila Jackson Lee is babbling about “getting the carbon out of the air.”

10:20am: GOP Rep. Biggert talks about the five amendments that she proposed and Dems rejected. Calls attention to national building codes.

10:22am: Dem Rep. Quigley preaches cult of global warming science. Says there are no contrary studies. Gee, I wonder why: Ask Alan Carlin!

10:24am: GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn: We are the party of KNOW. We want the people to KNOW what’s in this bill! You go, girl.

10:38am: Philip Kerpen at AFP says Dems. Ortiz and Mollohan are now no votes.

Another prominent fence-sitter: Blue Dog Dem Chair Allen Boyd.

The pay-offs:

More than a dozen Democratic members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition were not ready to back the bill as of Thursday, many of them concerned with the rising utility prices that would result.

“The most important thing is what impact it is going to have on our constituents in their daily lives,” said Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., who is co-chairman of the Blue Dogs and undecided on the bill.

Boyd said he has fielded calls from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. “He wants it done,” Boyd said.

Democrats have cut numerous deals to get them as close as they are now, the most recent concessions made to win over members of the House Committee on Agriculture, whose chairman, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., agreed to back the bill only after negotiators agreed to put in place provisions favorable to farmers and those growing corn for the production of ethanol.

Even with those changes, Boyd said, “I’m not sure it helped as much as everyone thought it would.”

But the bill has come closer to passage than most expected even a week ago, when Peterson was leading more than 40 Democrats in opposition to the bill.

That number has been whittled down considerably, said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., “because of the tenacity of the speaker and the commitment of the president.”

***

11:52am: Don’t give up. It’s close. The latest:

House Democrats narrowly won an important test vote Friday on groundbreaking legislation to combat global warming and usher in a new era of cleaner energy. Republican opponents said it included the largest tax increase ever.

The vote was 217-205 to send the White House-backed legislation to the full House. Thirty Democrats defected, reflecting the deep divisions over the plan. Supporters and opponents agree it mean higher energy costs, but they disagree widely on the impact on consumers.

12:25pm: Human Events reporter Connie Hair reports that Dems do not have votes yet.

Phone a fence-sitter!

1:03pm: Ed Markey just finished blubbering about a future where gas stations are gone and all our children plug, uh, er, their cars, uh, er, in, utilizing, the electricity, for which to power their, uh, er, cars.

The nation is in such hands.

2:06pm: Rep. Anthony Weiner argues that if you don’t hurry up and pass cap and trade, you support the terrorists.

Nice to see the Left rediscover the word “terrorist.”

GOP Rep. Rohrbacher follows. “If this passes, jobs will go to China and economy will go to hell.”

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