Waxman with the TKO in Two Rounds

Per the Associated Press:

Rep. Henry Waxman -- a liberal ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- has wrested the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee from veteran Rep. John Dingell when the new Congress convenes in January.

Waxman, a California liberal and avid environmentalist and booster of health care programs, toppled Dingell Thursday on a vote of 137-122 in the Democratic Party caucus, capping a bitter fight within party ranks.

Dingell has been the top Democrat on the panel for 28 years and is an old-school supporter of the auto industry. Waxman has complained that the committee has been too slow to address environmental issues like global warming.

As I said yesterday, I really did not know how this vote was going to go down today, and was at least somewhat skeptical Henry Waxman was going to be able to pull this one off. Yet despite all of the talk of the House Democratic caucus being conservative (remember all of the discussion about the Heath Shulers of the caucus in the aftermath of the 2006 midterms making it seem like the party as a whole was right of center), House Democrats remain quite progressive and could serve as the most progressive voice in negotiations with the Senate and the White House over legislation in the coming Congress.

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McCain Losing Relevance

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/11/19/AR2008111904207. html?nav=hcmoduletmv

"He is going nowhere," Schmidt said.

I couldn't have said it better myself!  :D

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Waxman Wins First Round of Waxman v. Dingell

From Congress Daily (subscription required):

By a three-vote margin, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee today recommended that Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman be given the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee, but a final decision will most likely be made by the full Democratic Caucus Thursday. The Steering Committee voted 25-22 in favor of Waxman to replace Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, according to lawmakers leaving the meeting.

This isn't over, as the entire House Democratic caucus will have the opportunity to have their say on the epic battle between the relative newcomer Henry Waxman, with just 34 years of service in the House, and John Dingell, with 53 years of service (following another 22 years of service by his eponymous father). And, at least from this vantage, it's not clear which of the two will have the edge in the full caucus, with Blue Dogs and those strongly supporting the seniority system (notably the Congressional Black Caucus) backing Dingell and more progressive forces backing Waxman. CQ Politics does note that the last time the steering panel upended a chairman or ranking member, the full caucus subsequently overturned the decision, but this one appears to be still up in the air.

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Lieberman Survives on 42 to 13 Vote

From The Washington Post

Lieberman agreed to surrender his position on the Environment and Public Works Committee, leaving the panel and his subcommittee chairmanship there. But Lieberman will remain chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and head of the subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee that oversees air and land power issues.

[...]

The deal was negotiated by Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), as well as Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

The Democratic caucus voted 42-13 to accept it. Those voting included the six incoming senators for the 111th Congress. Obama has already resigned his seat and Vice-President-elect Joe Biden (D-Del.) was not present.

[...]

In a more than two-hour meeting inside the Old Senate Chamber of the Capitol, where 19th century compromises were hatched, Lieberman offered apologies for some of his remarks during the campaign.

"There are some that I made that I wish I had never made at all," Lieberman said later.

It appears as though four in five Democrats in the United States Senate are content with their committee leadership including a member who actively campaigned not only for the Republican Presidential nominee but also Republican Senators up for reelection this fall. I knew the Senate was a collegial place... I just didn't know it was this collegial.

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Let's Take a Stand

Cross posted at www.21stdems.org/blog

This month we won a historic electoral victory. But our work didn't end on election day - it only started.

As President-elect Obama said on election night:

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were."

The time to make real, lasting change is upon us.

Now we must repair the damage inflicted by eight years of Republican misrule, and put our country back on track. As progressives, we must fight to ensure that the Democrats in control of our government respect the voters and enact policies that put the American people first.

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Diaries

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