Not A Stimulating Debate

About the only thing we didn't know going into the vote on Wednesday in the House on the Democratic economic stimulus bill was how many Republicans would vote for it.

As I prowled the halls a few hours before the vote, it was pretty quiet.  That's always a signal that nothing crazy is happening.

There were no big lines up in the galleries, as the public must have been outside enjoying the winter weather in DC.

And since the fix was in on so many things, the debate seemed kind of dull.

Maybe that will change when the stimulus bill comes up on the Senate floor next Monday.

Democrats certainly have the votes to win in the Senate, as they did yesterday in the House.  But you never know whether they will have that 60th vote, just to be sure there's no filibuster.

Now while Republicans all stood together and voted 'no,' eleven Democrats jumped ship and voted against the stimulus bill.

Who were they?  A combination of big time liberals who wanted more and conservatives who couldn't stomach the size of the bill.

Let's use my age old way to determine what's up with the Democratic Caucus by recalling where the Mason-Dixon line is located.

Allen Boyd of Florida - conservative in a conservative district
Bobby Bright of Alabama - freshman Democrat from the South
Parker Griffith of Alabama - same thing
Jim Cooper of Tennessee - conservative on fiscal matters
Brad Ellsworth of Indiana - conservative from a conservative area
Frank Kratovil of Maryland - freshman Dem from a conservative district
Walt Minnick of Idaho - a Democrat from Idaho?  Enough said
Collin Peterson of Minnesota - fairly conservative Democrat Farmer Labor type
Heath Shuler of North Carolina - leader of Dem conservatives
Gene Taylor of Mississippi - never afraid to buck his leadership
Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania - the only liberal who came through on his pledge to oppose the plan.

I still wonder whether we're headed for quick approval in the Senate.  On one hand, I think the answer is yes, with all the momentum that Obama has.

On the other, the Senate is the Senate.  And anything can happen.

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