Thursday, November 05, 2009

GOP E&PW Committee Members Boycott Climate Hearing

Update: The Senate EP&W Committee approved the bill first thing this morning. There were no amendments or debate due to the boycott. The bill now goes to the full Senate floor for debate. The bill passed 11 to 1, with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont) voting no.

The seven Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the mark up of the Boxer/Kerry climate change legislation (S. 1733) on Wednesday. Republicans claim to want a full economic analysis of the bill by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would take over a month to complete. EPA already presented its findings via a partial analysis when Administrator Jackson appeared before the committee last week. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) appeared briefly to read a statement for the Republican point of view on boycotting the mark up.

The 12 Democratic Party members of the committee do not need Republicans to pass the bill, but any delay in such passage probably kills any possibility that a bill will be passed by the Senate in time for the international climate change meeting in Copenhagen in December. Republicans did not boycott in the House Committee or in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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