Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Waxman Ascendant

Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrested the chairmanship of the House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair away from Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) today. It is rare for a sitting chair to be ousted by his own party, and it is my understanding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stayed out of the fight. The votes in the steering committee and subsequently the full caucus were very close, but Waxman was victorious.

This matters because Dingell has long held up environmental regulation of automobile emissions (being from Michigan) while Waxman has long crusaded for legislation to fight global warming. With Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) as Chair of the Environment & Public Works committee in the Senate (Go California!) Obama now has a good chance of securing the cap and trade system he favors, to roll back emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and impose an 80% cut by 2050 as he indicated this week.


Dr. Strangelove said...

It was also reported today that Sen. John Kerry will take over the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from Biden. So Obama now has a powerful, like-minded ally in another prominent post.

Obama is not moving to the center, I think--he is pragmatically moving to cement his control over the Democratic party, to unify it. That's what bringing the Clintons into the fold is all about, I think. If the Dems are unified, they need only pick off one or two votes in the Senate--they need only pay lip service to bipartisanship. That way, we can get some real reforms, at last!

The Law Talking Guy said...

I'm not sure that's the correct read, Dr.S. Pelosi is strengthening her hand in the House through Waxman for negotiations to come. The Senate is a very different kind of body. The good news is that Obama and Biden - especially Biden - understand the Senate.

Bringing in the ex-Clintonians is not a move designed necessarily to make allies on Capitol Hill.