Waxman Defeats Dingell 137-122

by: Matt Stoller

Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 11:00


Wow.

Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.) has ousted Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (Mich.), as Democratic lawmakers voted 137-122 Thursday morning to hand the gavel of the powerhouse panel to its second-ranking member.

The vote marks a stunning rebuke of the seniority system Democrats have honored for decades. It also constitutes a win, of sorts, for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is ideologically aligned with Waxman and has clashed repeatedly with Dingell.

That's a big deal.  Looks like we could be heading for a progressive Congress.  Cue conservative whining.

Oh, and go Jim McDermott!

But one of his supporters, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), said Waxman would do just fine in building coalitions if he's elected chairman. "You always try and scare people about progressives," he said. "It's bulls---."
Matt Stoller :: Waxman Defeats Dingell 137-122

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Or at least a ton of sniping between the Senate and the house (0.00 / 0)
I'm going to be pissed if filibusters are used as an excuse to block everything this term.

Why? .. (0.00 / 0)
do you really think McConnell is going down without a fight?  Come January, if shit doesn't get done, it's going to get very ugly for McConnell .. because he can then be blamed for ruining the economy .. let Snowe, Collins and Specter vote for cloture .. I know Specter will be voting with the Dems a lot this coming session .. he wants to get re-elected in '10.

[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
I'm hoping that they choose to put a lot of pressure on those three.  I'm more worried about Ben Nelson and co. holding ground on things.  I'll feel a lot better if Franken wins the recount.

[ Parent ]
it depends ... (0.00 / 0)
... on whether Specter expects to be primaried again, though Pat Toomey is being more discussed for the gubernatorial primary than another go at Arlen.

[ Parent ]
So? .. (0.00 / 0)
I am sure you are aware that Specter was once a Democrat ... so he might as well vote with us .. since I believe he has more Democratic tendencies ... and if Specter is smart and votes with us .. maybe some Pennsylvanians will switch parties for the primary to vote for him .. or something

[ Parent ]
he's cagier than that (0.00 / 0)
If he expects to be primaried again, he needs to beef up his RW bona fides again.  Otherwise, he's a pretty safe re-elect.  

Specter hasn't been a Democrat since the early 1970s.  Don't fool yourself into expecting something from him other than what he's shown.


[ Parent ]
On the Senate side (0.00 / 0)
Jeff Bingaman controls the equivalent committee that deals with renewable energy, fuel economy standards, etc.  I don't know that much about Bingaman, although he's gotten very good ratings in the past from the League of Conservation Voters.  A speech he delivered on energy issues in late October contains a more references to bipartisanship and carbon capture and storage than I'd like to see, and my impression is that he's isn't as nearly as progressive as Waxman, but he probably won't block progressive legislation on these issues like Dingell has done in the past.

All in all, this is very good news indeed.


[ Parent ]
Zing! (4.00 / 5)
Yes, we are making progress. More and better Democrats. It works, bitches. If Lieberman is a step backwards, this is three steps forward.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

Awesome news (4.00 / 2)
as it means that they'll get a lot done, especially with a couple of people who have worked for Waxman in the past now getting senior positions in the White House. It's pretty obvious now that Energy will be one of the top priorities next year.

There's just one downside though: the House Government and Oversight Committee (currently chaired by Waxman) will have a new Chairman and it seems like Ed Towns will get the job. He's at least next in line. Two other possibilities would be Elijah Cummings and Carolyn Maloney according to The Hill. Now, I'm not sure if I remember correctly, but weren't you supporting a challenger to Towns in the primaries, Matt? And could Towns do any harm as committee chair?


My Silver State - Nevada's Progressive Community Blog


Does anyone know if Obama lobbied this vote either way? (0.00 / 0)


John McCain won't insure children

I was wondering the same thing (4.00 / 1)
All I know is that Obama recently hired Chris Lu, Waxman's former Deputy Chief Counsel, as Cabinet Secretary. I don't believe there's a similar connection to Dingell or his staff.

[ Parent ]
To the US auto industry execs (0.00 / 0)
May we hand your ass to you .. you can have it on a silver platter or fine china, your choice.

Progressives as chairs of major committees (0.00 / 0)
The House leadership lineup, w/r/t chairs looks a lot better

Obey at Appropriations
Waxman at Energy and Commerce
Rangel at Ways and Means
Frank at Financial Services

I wish there were a way to bring Neil Abercrombie up to chair Armed Services, but we can't get everything.


progressives (0.00 / 0)
and of course there's George Miller at Education and Labor, Bennie Thompson at Homeland Security, Bob Brady at House Administration, Louise Slaughter at Rules, Nydia Velazquez at Small Business and Bob Filner at Veterans Affairs. Of course, I don't know how progressive they all individually are but it is pretty good that 10 out of 20 Standing Committee Chairs are members of the Progessive Caucus. Considering that less than 50% of all House members are CPC members that's pretty good.

My Silver State - Nevada's Progressive Community Blog

[ Parent ]
Yay! Terrific news... (0.00 / 0)
... in a week that hasn't had a lot of it so far. The incoming Congress' priorities seem mostly to be about caution and continuity, not change, but this is definitely a step in a more progressive direction on several key issues.

Blogging on politics and pop culture at SmartRemarks

So do bills overriding Bush slash and burn... (4.00 / 2)
environmental regulations originate in this committee?  Reading TPM this morning on the difficulty Obama may face in undoing damage from Bush's final regulatory push could be aided by Waxman acting aggressively right from the start.

John McCain won't insure children

Fantastic news (4.00 / 2)
Really, really great to hear. This has HUGE implications. Now there will be a fight for the Oversight Committee Chair and believe it or not Ed freaking Towns is running and probably the favorite. But Elijah Cummings is also running and hopefully can win.

Another thing. Lieberman's subcommittee chair will now go to Bernie Sanders which will give him a huge say in global warming legislation.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power


The swing toward environmental and health care reform (0.00 / 0)
has been the best part thus far of the transition.

John McCain won't insure children

[ Parent ]
This is a bigger win than the Lieberman loss for progressives (4.00 / 1)
Much much bigger, in terms of policy effects.  


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