Politico is reporting that U.S. Representatives Ciro Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) and Solomon Ortiz (D-Corpus Christi) were two of four Democratic members of congress who had said they would vote “yes” and then voted “no” on the climate change bill.
In all, 44 Democrats voted against the bill.
The White House and House Democratic leaders were desperate for every single vote they could secure ahead of the vote, which ultimately ended 219-212.
Details involving Ortiz's situation have yet to be reported, but the story behind Rodriguez's apparent flip-flop leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Rodriguez had told leadership that he was a likely yes — but then cast a quick “no” vote and practically sprinted from the chamber, frustrating floor managers whose shouts of “Rodriguez!” rang through the House as the final anxious votes were cast.
At one point, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner bounced from a huddle of leadership members and began calling the rep's name, like a wayward toddler, as he scanned the Speaker's lobby and the adjacent balcony.
“He cast his no and then ran the hell out of there,” said a member of the whipping team, still steaming after the vote. “We tried him at his office and they said he was gone.”
After Henry Cuellar defeated Rodriguez in the 2004 primary, national blogs like Daily Kos and MyDD made defeating Cuellar, deemed too conservative for the South Texas Democratic district, a top priority in spring 2006. In the end, Cuellar won by more votes in '06 than he had in '04.
It is slighty ironic then that Cuellar voted “aye” on this particular bill while Rodriguez will have a lot of explaining to do to President Obama and House Democratic leaders.
Edited slightly to better reflect the timing of the netroots involvement in the Rodriguez-Cuellar primary.