From the American Conservative --
Clyde Middleton and I just concluded a blogger conference call with the House Whip Team. On the call were Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Erik Paulsen (R-MN).
The major news from the call was that Cap and Trade is, according to Rep. Jordan, “all but dead in the House.” Rep. Paulsen, a freshman, noted that many of his freshman colleagues on the other side of the aisle were forced by the leadership to vote for the House bill without the opportunity to read it. Once the bill is reconciled in conference committee with the Senate bill and sent back to the House for a final vote, many of them that voted “yes” the first time around will vote “no” now. Many of these Democrats (and Republican Rep. Kirk) got a lot of blowback from constituents over the August recess, an indication that pressure brought to bear on them has had the desired effect.
There was unanimous agreement of the Reps. on the call that it is “very likely” Cap and Trade is dead.
On the health care front, it was confirmed that the Senate closed a loophole in its bill (after Joe Wilson’s outburst) that may have allowed illegals to obtain benefits. The Senate added a citizenship verification provision. However, as of today, none of Democrat House bills has any such verification. One rep. likened the situation to border security; while illegal immigration is against the law, unless you enforce it, people get it. Without a verification provision in the health care bill, illegals could skirt that law as well.
When Clyde asked Rep. Paulsen if he had received a response from Sen. Baucus concerning a September 16, 2009, letter Rep. Paulsen had sent concerning a $40 billion tax on medical device manufacturers, his response was simple: No. Rep. Paulsen went on to discuss his and other representatives from both sides of the aisle have with this tax provision which falls onto not just large companies but small businesses, too.
Audio of the call is here.
We predicted the demise of Cap and Trade here yesterday. Seems that at least some members of the GOP agree with that assessment.