All hands on the phones — Reid to push cap and trade to the floor
Here goes the next Democrat expansion of government. If you thought your health insurance bills were going to be bad, wait until you see your electric and gas bills. With the appointment of Carte Goodwin to replace the late Robert Byrd, Harry Reid is going into big hurry mode. After passing legislation to extend unemployment benefits (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe will allow Reid to get cloture) and other appropriation bills and getting our nation further into debt, the hard push for cap and trade will begin.
Republicans could insist on using the full 30 hours of post-cloture time mandated by Senate rules if they want to wreck the Democrats’ carefully planned schedule. But Reid thinks he can work out an agreement with Republicans to move quickly to the small-business and supplemental bills.
“The Republican leader and I are working on a way to move forward on small business,” Reid told colleagues late last week. “I think we have a pretty good path of what we’re going to do on that. After we finish that, it’s my intention to move to the supplemental appropriations bill.”
Reid said he would need to file another motion to cut off a filibuster of the military spending bill but added, “I think we can work out the time on that so it doesn’t take an inordinate amount of time.”
Time is of the essence, as Reid has pledged to begin the energy debate the week of July 26. That would give Democrats two weeks to pass energy reform and confirm Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan by the August recess, scheduled to begin Aug. 6.
It would seem to be that no Democratic senator in the Rust belt would even think of wanting to pass cap and trade. However, there are some in the GOP caucus we have to worry about as well. John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins? We will be calling and watching you.
Interesting side note on the WV seat: Joe Manchin, governor of West Virginia, who is considered to be the Democratic candidate for Senate if the framework of a special election can be agreed upon by the WV House and Senate, would get the benefit of not having to vote on cap and trade. The GOP should hammer Manchin and Goodwin on this and paint them as being in cohoots if Goodwin votes yea to bring the bill to the floor on cap and trade, let alone pass it. The other Democratic senators who need to be targeted are:
Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania (Specter is hopeless), Evan Bayh (I think he is a lost cause since he is retiring but if he votes yea, it would permanently end any future political career.) of Indiana, Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana, and Michael Bennett of Colorado. All of these senators’ states have a substantial coal industry that would each be wiped out by cap and trade.
These Democratic senators will need all of the political cover from the GOP that they can get. It is important to first call the aforementioned 5 GOP senators and demand to know how they are voting and to ensure they will vote no. The GOP 41 will need to hold the filabuster and prevent cap and trade from even coming to the floor.
I would hope that Mitch McConnell will not give Harry Reid even the time of day to discuss any agreement to bring cap and trade to the floor. He probably could stand to hear from a few of us as well.