Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Senate Cap And Trade Hearings Highlight Democratic Party Fault Lines

Ongoing hearings in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the Kerry/Boxer cap and trade bill are bringing to light fissures in the Democratic Party block regarding the proposed climate change legislation. Opposition to Senator Barbara Boxer’s chairman’s mark of the 923 page bill, released Friday, was voiced by both Senator Arlen Specter and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Baucus says he has serious reservation about the measure’s goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 2005 levels by a 2020 deadline. Specter wants Congress, rather than USEPA, top set the emission limits. “There’s a great deal to be gained by certainty so people can make plans,” Specter told USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “That’s our job.”

Republican critics of the Kerry/Boxer bill are threatening to delay forward movement of the proposed law by skipping meetings of the Committee scheduled to mark up the bill, thereby denying Boxer the quorum required for holding a mark up under Senate rules. They complain about USEPA’s failure to run any economic modeling of the Kerry/Boxer bill, which EPA justified based on the similarity of the measure to the House passed bill EPA already analyzed. In the face of such a maneuver, Boxer’s committee could report the bill out without a markup, under Senate Rule 14.
blog comments powered by Disqus