In it, but not of it. TPM DC

With Climate Change Vote, House Tries To Prod Senate Into Action--Will It Work?

As the 2010 election approaches, members of Congress will become less and less willing to take risky votes, and Democratic leaders will become less and less willing to put them in a position to do so. At the same time, the Senate isn't anywhere near ready to vote on a climate change bill, so if they want to get it done, they'll likely have to hurry.

That seems to be what the President wants. "I'll use just the workout metaphor, and that is, you know, when you start training again and you're pushing your body a little bit harder, sometimes it hurts," Obama told reporters over the weekend.

But if you keep on at it, after a while your body adjusts. And I think that's what's happening to politics in Washington. Folks have been sitting on the couch for a while, and now they're starting to feel like, hey, you know what, I can run. And that's why we're getting stuff done.

That doesn't mean there aren't going to be times where it hurts a little bit.

But he also acknowledged that the pace of progress is in large part up to the Senate--and that's not a body known for swift legislating.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at