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Iraq Bill Tests the Democratic Leadership's Skills

March 19, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Whether or not you like the bill, you have to be impressed by how precisely the Democratic leadership has crafted the war supplemental to get the maximum support of House Democrats. Right now, it is looking like the vote on the bill, which is scheduled for Thursday, may be decided by a margin of only a couple of votes.

The bill’s support swells, from its base with the Democratic centrists, outwards in both directions, collecting some votes from both the left and right of the Democratic political spectrum. The leadership’s skill is in finding the right balance of provisions in the bill so that it rests it in a spot where it can withhold as much swelling as possible without bursting at the seams and deflating entirely. If any of its provisions were altered, critical votes would be lost from either end, and the bill would have no chance of passing.

The Hill went through the work of putting together a pretty comprehensive list of how members of the Out of Iraq Caucus and Blue Dog Democrats plan to vote on the war supplemental. These Representatives comprise the two extremes of the Democratic party, with the progressive left, represented by the Out of Iraq Caucus, being a bit larger. Together, the two extremes make up just slightly more than half of the total amount of Democrats in the House.

These results were “culled from media accounts and interviews with lawmakers and aides,” but no links or quotes were provided to back it up. Regardless, it gives you a pretty good idea of what the Democratic leadership is up against at this point. It is expected that many of the Reps. from the “Undecided/no comment” list will join the “Yes or leaning yes” list in the next couple of days. For example, since this list was published, aides of Jan Schakowsky have said that she will vote for the bill. I took the liberty of adding her to the “yes” list.

Yes or leaning yes

    Neil Abercrombie (HI)

    Michael Arcuri (NY)

    Melissa Bean (IL)

    Nancy Boyda (KS)

    Dennis Cardoza (CA)

    Peter DeFazio (OR)

    Chet Edwards (TX)

    Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

    Phil Hare (IL)

    Tim Mahoney (FL) (leaning yes)

    Mazie Hirono (HI) (leaning yes)

    Steve Kagen (WI)

    Tom Lantos (CA)

    John Larson (CT)

    Carolyn Maloney (NY)

    George Miller (CA)

    Chris Murphy (CT)

    Patrick Murphy (PA)

    Donald Payne (NJ)

    Jan Schakowsky (IL)

    David Scott (GA)

    Joe Sestak (PA)

    Carol Shea-Porter (NH)

    Tim Walz (MN)

    Charlie Wilson (OH)

No or leaning no

    Danny Davis (IL) (leaning no)

    Keith Ellison (MN) (leaning no)

    Dennis Kucinich (OH)

    Barbara Lee (CA)

    Jim Marshall (GA)

    Pete Stark (CA)

    Edolphus Towns (NY)

    Lynn Woolsey (CA)

Undecided/no comment

    Tammy Baldwin (WI)

    John Barrow (GA)

    Sanford Bishop Jr. (GA)

    Dan Boren (OK)

    Leonard Boswell (IA)

    Chris Carney (PA)

    Jim Cooper (TN)

    Lacy Clay (MO)

    Steve Cohen (TN)

    Elijah Cummings (MD)

    Joe Donnelly (IN)

    Brad Ellsworth (IN)

    Raúl Grijalva (AZ)

    John Hall (NY)

    Stephanie Herseth (SD)

    Baron Hill (IN)

    Rush Holt (NJ)

    Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)

    Hank Johnson (GA)

    Ron Kind (WI)

    Nick Lampson (TX)

    John Lewis (GA)

    Jim Matheson (UT)

    Doris Matsui (CA)

    James McGovern (MA)

    Jerry McNerney (CA)

    Gwen Moore (WI)

    Jim Oberstar (MN)

    Collin Peterson (MN)

    Bobby Rush (IL)

    Mike Ross (AR)

    John Salazar (CO)

    Linda Sanchez (CA)

    Heath Shuler (NC)

    Hilda Solis (CA)

    Zack Space (OH)

    Gene Taylor (MS)

    Maxine Waters (CA)*

    Peter Welch (VT)

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