Vigilance: Blue Dog Update

The Blue Dog coalition in the House was decimated last November, losing about half their number in the general election. Some claim that the loss of Blue Dogs further polarizes the House. Others suggest that members can call themselves anything they wish in their districts, but when they get to Washington, there's no such thing as a conservative Democrat.

I hold the latter view.

So how are the Blue Dogs getting along with the rest of the Democratic caucus in the 112th Congress? Newly-crowned Blue Dog leader Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) has been kvetching to the media that the Blue Dogs and Nancy Pelosi, the woman for whom Shuler and all of the Blue Dog survivors twice voted for Speaker, are estranged.

Clearly, not all of them, if any, are. If you are represented by a Blue Dog, check yours out:

On Friday, February 11, 2011, the House passed H RES 72, a regulatory review resolution, "Directing certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth."

The resolution passed (Roll Call 33) after a motion to recommit, or kill it, failed (Roll Call 32).

It's no secret that House Republicans have the Environmental Protection Agency's attempts to regulate CO², among other Obama agency overreaches, in the crosshairs (if I may be forgiven for using a currently-out-of-favor, insensitive martial metaphor).

Does a Blue Dog "serve" your House district? Does your district contain coal or host other CO² producers? Belching cows? Human and pet exhalation? Nasty stuff, all of it.

My district has all the things the Obama EPA considers loathsome - and a self-proclaimed Blue Dog congressman: Rep. Tim Holden.

Holden voted in the House against the Cap and Trade bill because he wanted to keep his job. Pennsylvania District 17 is a large producer of high quality anthracite. When Cap and Trade died in the Senate, the Obama EPA decided to unilaterally regulate CO². The EPA declared CO² a greenhouse gas and an agent of climate change, ignoring what it really is: plant food. Regulatory means will be used to circumvent the Congress. Coal will be a big loser if EPA bureaucrats have their way. H RES 72 is the first step in stopping them.

On Friday, Holden voted with his fellow Democrats to recommit (a/k/a table, a/k/a kill) the resolution - and then, trying to have it both ways, voted in favor of the Republican resolution.

It's uncertain how Holden, a representative from Pennsylvania coal country, squares his votes - first against Cap and Trade and then to kill a resolution that would begin the process of legislative remedy to the EPA's activism.

Someone should ask him...