We can’t really call yesterday’s passage of the Kerry-Boxer climate change bill through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee tainted, because the bill itself is almost pristine. No amendments were added to it, nothing was removed. But the process lacked a – certain – something:
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reported out a climate change bill on Thursday despite a boycott by Republican members, who had required a complete analysis of the measure before participating in the committee debate.
The Republicans bailed out because they wanted a full EPA analysis of the bill before proceeding. Neither Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) nor ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have put up press releases about Boxer’s maneuver yet. However, Inhofe did issue a statement:
"The Republicans offered a clear path forward to a bipartisan markup, but it was summarily rejected by Chairman Boxer.[Boxer] decided to ignore the entreaties of all 6 ranking members from Senate committees with some share of jurisdiction over climate change legislation, as well as leading moderates in the Senate. Her action signals the death knell for the Kerry Boxer bill," he added.
We’ll see about that death knell. After all, the Finance Committee will have a run at it – Max Baucus (D - Montana), who chairs that committee, was the one vote against it in the Energy committee – and all the Senators will be able to festoon it with amendments once it hits the floor.
But for now, the bill, including the rather empty nuclear title, is the same as when the committee presented it for hearings. We await the next move.
Sen. James Inhofe would like to make a point.