Advancing a Free Society

Speaker Pelosi’s last big decision

Monday, December 13, 2010

House Democrats’ practical transition to minority status precedes the formal transfer of power on January 5th.  Speaker Pelosi has one big decision to make before she becomes Minority Leader:  Will she bring up a Senate-passed tax bill for an up-or-down House vote?

Procedural summary

On Thursday the tax deal was released in legislative form, surprisingly labeled the Reid/McConnell amendment.  You don’t see that every day on a big economic issue.  Senate Republican Whip Kyl supports it, and in the Senate we therefore have an Obama-Reid-McConnell-Kyl alliance.  That’s unbeatable and will clearly get the 60 votes needed for cloture next Monday at 3 PM EST.

Assuming the Senate invokes cloture Monday afternoon, I would expect the bill to pass no later than Tuesday.  It then crosses the rotunda to the House, where Speaker Pelosi has a decision to make.  She has unilateral authority to decide which bills come to the floor of the House.

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