Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Democrats “quashed a three-day Republican boycott and passed global warming legislation today using a procedural move that could undermine support from moderate lawmakers should the bill reach the floor,” ClimateWire reports.
Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and nine Democrats signed off on the climate bill — without considering amendments — after trying without success to wait out Republicans.
The vote was 11-1, with Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) voting in opposition. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) was not present for the vote. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) came late and voted yes. Obviously, no Republican members were in attendance either.
Reuters notes that this legislation “would require industry to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.”
The bill will now become one of several initiatives aimed at attacking global warming. Senator John Kerry is leading an effort with some Republicans and the White House to craft a compromise bill, which likely would not be voted on by the full Senate until next year at the earliest.
Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) offered this response:
“I am deeply disappointed by Chairman Boxer’s decision to violate the rules and longstanding precedent of the committee. The Republicans offered a clear path forward to a bipartisan markup, but it was summarily rejected by Chairman Boxer. Instead, she decided to ignore the entreaties of all 6 ranking members from Senate committees with some share of jurisdiction over climate change legislation, as well as leading moderates in the Senate. Her action signals the death knell for the Kerry Boxer bill.
“As was written recently, the Kerry-Boxer bill is ‘bad policy’ that ‘resembles the failed climate proposals of the past.’ It is time for a different approach, one that grows, rather than shrinks our economy, creates, rather than destroys jobs, and strengthens, rather than weakens our energy security. We can do this by encouraging development of all of America’s vast energy resources.”
(credit image – associated press)