Post's Politics and Policy Blog

Representative Perriello Votes Against "Deem And Pass," Undecided On Bill, Tells Constituents "Tie Our Hands" Or "We Will Steal"

The last 48 hours have been very interesting for the most endangered man in Congress, Fourth District Representative Tom Perriello (D-Va.), who barely won a very conservative district in 2008, and is the number one targeted Democrat in the House by the National Republican Congressional Committee. His political peril stems from his votes for the freedom-restricting, tax increasing and energy rationing "Cap and Trade" bill and the House version of the government-run health care bill. But yesterday, he voted against the procedural tactic known as "Deem and Pass" by which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hopes to ram the bill through unconstitutionally without a recorded vote, and not on the exact same bill the Senate passed. The rule still passed, however, 222-203 and the Congressman was quick to tell anyone and everyone not to read anything into that vote regarding the main event, Sunday's scheduled vote on the government-run health care "reconciliation" package (Lynchburg News & Advance). How could we? He's all over the map. But if that wasn't enough, he came out today and said he now is comfortable that the bill's language does not allow for federally funded abortions, a criteria he said must be met if he is to vote for the bill (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). Funny. That's not what the House's leading pro-life Democrat, Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), says. So, he's voting for the bill, right? Most likely. But not so fast. Now there's this, from the Post's Politics and Policy Blog:

Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello (D) said Friday that he would vote in favor of Democrats' health package this weekend, but only after he gets a promise from the Senate that it will pass "fixes" to the bill designed to make it more palatable to the House.

Perriello spokeswoman Jessica Barba confirmed that Perriello's support for the measure was "conditional on a letter signed by 51 Senators saying they will follow through on reconciliation fixes." Other House Democrats have broached a similar idea, as they fear that they will pass the Senate bill but the Senate will fail to move the subsequent "fixes" bill.

So, what if no Senate letter emerges? How does Mr. Perriello vote? Or, does he just vote his liberal heart away, anyhow, and rationalize to constituents later?

Speaking of his constituents, this is what he really is in the news for — a candid admission to constituents two days ago about Congressional spending (RealClearPolitics). He said, about Congress' unyielding appetite for taxing and spending (and, presumably, buying industries):

If you don't tie our hands, we will keep stealing.

Sounds like an addict pleading for an intervention. Congressman, the rope is your constituency. Are you not listening to them? If he is serious about his acknowledgment that government is stealing, he should have no problem deciding how to vote on a government takeover of health care. So, why is he wavering? Maybe he doesn't want his hands tied? Hear it for yourself, then call (202-225-4711) and remind him! (By the way, I wanted to put his e-mail page link here, but I keep getting a "server is too busy" message! He must be inundated!)

Congressman Tom Perriello admits his Congressional pals "steal" from the American people. If that's what he thinks, maybe he shouldn't vote to "steal" our health care.