CAFTA because ya HAFTA?
Who will be the first to talk?
We all know what happened the last time the White House told the House GOP leadership that it had to pass a certain bill, despite significant resistance from GOP backbenchers. Lots of offers were made that couldn't be refused. And that was when out-going Rep. Nick Smith got hit with a mix of bribes and threats on the floor of the House itself.
I've been hearing from various sources that what the GOP leadership did in the House last night on CAFTA put that earlier episode to shame. Rep. Early Pomeroy (D) of North Dakota told the local paper: "I've seen the Republican leadership break arms on close votes before, but nothing quite this ugly."
I've been getting lots of stories in. But a lot of the details may well show up in local papers rather than the big national dailies. So collaborative research, as we did with Social Security and the DeLay Rule, is really the only way to get a handle on the story.
One interesting story is that of Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC): to paraphrase that lame jibe from last year, Hayes voted 'No' before he voted 'Yes'. Only literally. Says Bloomberg: "In the end a 40-minute delay in the vote was broken after the Republican leadership convinced Representative Robin Hayes of North Carolina to switch his vote to yes."
If you see articles in local media that seem to give some part of the story, let us know in this discussion thread we've just we've just set up over at TPMCafe. If you were there or have other details to share, let us know that too. And if you need to remain anonymous, you can always send a note directly to TPM at the comments email at the top of the sidebar.