I decided to post about this after I wrote this comment to Joan McCarter's excellent coverage today of Nancy Pelosi's threat to use a parliamentary tool under House Rules called a Discharge Petition, to bring middle class tax cuts to the House floor for an up or down vote.
When Minority Leader Pelosi was Speaker Pelosi, she was renowned for never going to the floor on a vote that she didn't have enough support for. Admittedly, that often included no Republicans.It turns out that Wikipedia, of all places, seems to have an accurate list of Lame Duck Republicans in the final sessions of the 112th Congress. There are 41 of them. Come January, every one of them will be absent from the 113th Congress. Going forward, as a group they owe nothing to Speaker Boehner and, given local political circumstances or other considerations, it may be that some of these Congressfolks might have reasons to join the House Democrats' Discharge Petition.
Still, I have no reason to think that Rep. Pelosi has changed her modus operendi. If she actually takes a discharge petition to the House floor, it will be because she has whipped the GOP and confirmed enough support to get the job done. Unless she has the votes, I don't think she will go forward. I think we will know within a week and I regard her announcement on this today as evidence that she has already begun to whip this across the aisle.
I think I'll take a gander at the list of GOP incumbents who lost reelection and see who looks like a Lame Duck who might refuse to go down with Cap'n Boehner's GOP pirate ship one last time. It might make a good diary.
Follow me out into the tall grass for a list of all 41 Lame Duck Republicans in Congress and a more detailed examination of a couple of of Ducks who might be the kind of Republicans that Nancy Pelosi has her eye on in this Discharge Petition battle.
There are a lot of these displaced Republican Congresscritters, and it's kind of looking like every one of them is different. Here is the list:
Retired RepublicansWhat jumped out at me is that 3/4 of these Lame Duck Republicans are in states carried, mostly carried convincingly, by President Obama. 30 out of 41. These are members from states like New York, California and the President's deep blue home state, Illinois. People leaving political office spend a lot of time thinking about their political futures.
1.Arizona's 6th congressional district: Jeff Flake: To run for the U.S. Senate.
2.California's 2nd congressional district: Wally Herger
3.California's 24th congressional district: Elton Gallegly
4.California's 26th congressional district: David Dreier
5.California's 41st congressional district: Jerry Lewis
6.Florida's 14th congressional district: Connie Mack IV: To run for the U.S. Senate.
7.Illinois's 15th congressional district: Tim Johnson
8.Indiana's 5th congressional district: Dan Burton
9.Indiana's 6th congressional district: Mike Pence: To run for Governor of Indiana.
10.Missouri's 2nd congressional district: Todd Akin: To run for the U.S. Senate.
11.Michigan's 11th congressional district: Thaddeus McCotter: failed to make the ballot for renomination due to fraudulent signatures.
12.Montana's At-large congressional district: Denny Rehberg: To run for the U.S. Senate.
13.New York's 9th congressional district: Bob Turner: To run for the U.S. Senate.
14.North Carolina's 9th congressional district: Sue Myrick
15.North Dakota's At-large congressional district: Rick Berg: To run for the U.S. Senate.
16.Ohio's 7th congressional district: Steve Austria
17.Ohio's 14th congressional district: Steve LaTourette
18.Pennsylvania's 19th congressional district: Todd Russell Platts
19.Texas's 14th congressional district: Ron Paul: To run for U.S. President.
Primary and Redistricting Losers
20.Arizona's 6th congressional district: Ben Quayle: lost a redistricting race and lost August 28, 2012 to fellow incumbent David Schweikert
21.Florida's 3rd congressional district: Cliff Stearns: redistricted from the August 14, 2012 to challenger Ted Yoho
22.Florida's 7th congressional district: Sandy Adams: lost a redistricting race and lost August 14, 2012 to fellow incumbent John Mica
23.Illinois's 16th congressional district: Don Manzullo: lost a redistricting race March 20, 2012 to fellow incumbent Adam Kinzinger
24.Ohio's 2nd congressional district: Jean Schmidt: lost March 6, 2012 to challenger Brad Wenstrup
25.Oklahoma's 1st congressional district: John A. Sullivan: lost June 26, 2012 to challenger Jim Bridenstine.
General Election Loses to Democrats
26.California's 7th congressional district: Dan Lungren lost to Ami Bera
27.California's 36th congressional district: Mary Bono Mack lost to Raul Ruiz
28.California's 52nd congressional district: Brian Bilbray lost to Scott Peters
29.Florida's 18th congressional district: Allen West lost to Patrick Murphy
30.Florida's 26th congressional district: David Rivera lost to Joe Garcia
31.Illinois's 8th congressional district: Joe Walsh lost to Tammy Duckworth
32.Illinois's 10th congressional district: Robert Dold lost to Brad Schneider
33.Illinois's 11th congressional district: Judy Biggert lost to Bill Foster
34.Illinois's 17th congressional district: Bobby Schilling lost to Cheri Bustos
35.Maryland's 6th congressional district: Roscoe Bartlett lost to John K. Delaney
36.Minnesota's 8th congressional district: Chip Cravaack lost to Rick Nolan
37.New Hampshire's 1st congressional district: Frank Guinta lost to Carol Shea-Porter
38.New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district: Charles Bass lost to Ann Kuster
39.New York's 18th congressional district: Nan Hayworth lost to Sean Patrick Maloney
40.New York's 24th congressional district: Ann Marie Buerkle lost to Dan Maffei
41.Texas's 23rd congressional district: Quico Canseco lost to Pete Gallego
What really got me juiced to write about this was the immediate recognition that my own, home town Lame Duck Republican, and perhaps one or two others of the species in Illinois, might be persuaded to extend continued tax relief to 98% of the American People, without holding anyone or anything hostage.
Two Illinois Lame Duck members of Congress strike me as particularly reachable. One is No. 32, my own outgoing, Robert Dold, who did his damnedest to swerve to the middle after toeing Boehner's line for two years, but had no more success than did the head of his ticket who tried to do the same, the now forgotten, Romney. If Dold wants a political future in Illinois, he is going to have to act much more responsibly, and this would be a profitable gesture for him, making an open break with an extraordinarily disliked House leadership team.
Speaking of House leadership, No. 23 Dan Manbzullo, from the IL-16, owes his retirement to nothing less than the unprecedented intervention by Majority Whip Eric Cantor in favor of incumbent Adam Kinzinger in a primary that pitted the two incumbents against one another. Don't take my word for it. At the time, Politico.com said:
Kinzinger’s victory is a major win for Cantor, who backed the freshman congressman in an unusual step for a party leader to take in a race between two colleagues. A super PAC that is aligned with Cantor also aired radio ads supportive of Kinzinger.Given his reason to hold a grudge against Speaker Boehner's leadership team it would seem Rep. Manzullo might be persuaded to do what the GOP used to do in these situations: cut taxes as much as you can whenever you can.
Cantor’s move was seen as an effort to consolidate his support with the younger, conservative wing of the House GOP Conference that is regarded as his base.
But his decision to take sides was met with anger and surprise at high levels of the party. Late last week, House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy both phoned Manzullo to distance themselves from Cantor’s endorsement. And in the days leading up to the election, Manzullo railed against Cantor, at one point going so far as to call on him to step down from leadership.
The whole list is too long to be looked at in one diary. In any event, the votes Leader Pelosi will need for the Discharge Petition needn't come exclusively from the ranks of the dispossessed Republican Lame Ducks. I have a lot of faith in Nancy Pelosi's ability to line up votes, and, as ever in politics, that is always easy to do for something fabulously popular, like middle class tax cuts.
I'm going to continue looking at individual Lame Duck Republicans and if there's of much interest, will post about it.