Monday, March 02, 2009

Boxer Might Use Budget Reconciliation For Cap-and-Trade

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is considering the budget reconciliation process as a shortcut for passing cap-and-trade legislation. Budget reconciliation legislation cannot be filibustered and therefore does not require meeting the 60-vote threshold that has consistently been a key hurdle to passage of global warming legislation. Only 51 votes would be needed for passage if the climate change legislation is attached as an amendment to the 2009 Budget Reconciliation bill. Debate over use of the reconciliation process for key policy items is always controversial in the

Previous efforts to move cap-and-trade legislation received 48 votes last summer. Another attempt in 2005 won 43 votes in 2005. Senate Republicans and moderate Democrats would become apoplectic over a proposal to use the budget mechanism as a way to consider this highly complex piece of legislation. But it has to be tempting because it is much easier to get 51 votes than it is to get 60 votes. (The NYT, 3/1/09)

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