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Monday, March 8, 2010

Massa Huh?

Congressman Eric Massa, who is about to resign amidst a sexual scandal, is now saying that the Democratic leadership wants him out because he voted against health care.

Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) says the House ethics committee is investigating him for inappropriate comments he made to a male staffer on New Year's Eve — and that he's the victim of a power play by Democratic leaders who want him out of Congress because he's a "no" vote on health care reform.

"Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill," Massa, who on Friday announced his intention to resign, said during a long monologue on radio station WKPQ. "And this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they've gotten rid of me, and it will pass. You connect the dots."

The details of his case remain murky however his accusation is confusing. If he resigns, a new Representative won't be chosen for months. So, that would be a guaranteed no vote. Massa voted against the original House bill because it wasn't liberal enough. It's certain he wouldn't vote for the Senate bill. Still, if he were in the House, the leadership would still have a chance of flipping him. Now, that seat is a non vote or the same as a no vote. As such, his accusation makes absolutely no sense.

1 comment:

AG said...

What he means is that the House only needs a majority of the number of members. Massa's resignation would be the 4th vacancy in the House. Normally, with 435 members, the House needs 435/2 = 217.5 = 218 votes to pass a measure.

With Massa creating another vacancy, the number of votes needed to pass a bill is 431/2 = 215.5 = 216 votes. The other vacancies are Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii who left to run for governor, Robert Wexler of Florida who left to run some nonprofit organization, and John Murtha who died. What makes Massa a big deal is that he's the only one of those 4 who voted against reform.

This is the same reason Nathaniel Deal of Georgia was pressured by his party into postponing his resignation from Congress to run for governor: they needed his no vote.

In any case, Massa claiming he was railroaded by Pelosi et. al. would have been more convincing if he didn't admit to the sexual harassment beforehand. Not that I expect Glenn Beck, to whom Massa has granted an interview, will point that out.