FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
SENATOR Boxer on Cap & Trade: muddling ahead, and alone.
‘Senator’ capitalized because the insecure often require that special little emphasis. In this case, SENATOR Boxer is demonstrating same by making a fairly pointless gesture that’s apparently fueled by pique:
Barbara Boxer may not only force her climate bill through the Environment and Public Works Committee without any Republican votes; aides say she could also do it without any Republicans in the room at all.
Boxer (D-Calif.) could exploit a loophole in committee rules that will allow her to approve the bill with a simple majority of the 12 Democrats on the committee, even if no Republicans are present. Republicans have vowed to boycott the proceeding.
This end run around Republicans — ignoring the usual rules that require at least two Republicans to be present for a quorum — could further hinder the chances for an already troubled cap-and-trade bill.
The problem here is that Senate Republicans are tired of Democrats forcing through legislation without analysis, deliberation, or in some cases, an opportunity to even read it; so they’re going to boycott the markup until they get a full EPA analysis. No attendance, no quorum, no markup. But SENATOR Boxer wants a bill to impress all those sophisticated Europeans at Copenhagen in December, so she’s going to alter the rules so as to force her version of the bill out via a rump committee. As the Politico article notes, this has other Democrats swearing, because: a, there was little likelihood of cap-and-trade being passed in a SENATOR Boxer-friendly form to begin with; b, there was not previously much chance of any version of cap-and-trade being passed by December anyway; and c, there is now effectively zero chance of either happening before the New Year. It’s trivially easy to slow legislation down to a crawl in the Senate, and there are now several motivated Republicans to demonstrate how to do that.
Marvelous work, SENATOR Boxer.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.