Will Senate Follow House on Climate?
Grist’s Kate Sheppard assesses what’s next following House passage of clean energy/climate protection bill: “Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued a statement congratulating House leaders for the landmark passage. Boxer has pledged to have her own climate bill, likely based on Waxman-Markey, passed out of committee in August … a number of Midwestern and Southern Democrats have expressed concerns about passing the legislation, and few observers expect more than two or three GOP lawmakers to vote for a climate bill … the energy bill approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week was significantly weaker than provisions in Waxman-Markey. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he wants every committee in the Senate to complete work on climate and energy legislation by mid-September, so there is still a good deal of time left to shape legislation before the Senate adjourns for the year in November or December.”
National Journal analyzes where the votes came from: “the findings suggest that calculations about the underlying political and ideological inclinations of the districts may have shaped the Democratic vote somewhat more powerfully than assessments of the districts’ vulnerability to energy price increases if the legislation passed. In both parties, nothing appeared to drive the outcome more than the presidential result in last November’s election.” (via Political Wire)
Ezra Klein is pessimistic on Senate prospects: “My sense is that this looks like what it is: a slim margin for a weakened bill. And now it goes to the Senate. What further worries me is that the bill is all inside-game right now. I’d be surprised if 20 percent of the country knew cap-and-trade was moving through Congress. There’s no popular mobilization for the legislation. That means that the pressure for changes is coming almost entirely from legislators who aren’t sure whether they’ll vote for it.”
Stan Collender argues the close vote bodes well for the future: “The ultimate political value for the White House is that it was able to get the bill adopted at all but still allow 44 Democrats to vote against it. Not asking Democrats to walk a political plank will pay huge dividends later this year and in the 2010 elections because those members who needed to vote against it were able to do so. And, of course, the White House didn’t have to use up huge favors in the process. Having voted against the administration’s climate change bill on the record means that at least some of theese House Democrats will be able to vote for what emerges from a House-Senate conference later in the year. Therefore, the chances of a climate bill being enacted this year is now much greater than it was 24 hours ago.”
WH adviser Axelrod predicts Senate passage on NBC’s Meet The Press.
Treehugger flags Sen. Claire McKaskill’s negative reaction: “I hope we can fix cap and trade so it doesn’t unfairly punish businesses and families in coal dependent states like Missouri.”
Conservatives spout complete nonsense on Sunday TV, ignore compromises with coal, ag, pretend there’s no such thing as green jobs.
Bloomberg on industry impact: “The climate-change bill that passed the U.S. House on June 26 would set up a ‘cap-and-trade’ market for greenhouse gases that cushions the cost for power producers, manufacturers and farmers while limiting aid to oil companies.”
Following presidential interview by energy reporters, NYT and W. Post highlight Obama opposition to carbon tariff: “At a time when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we’ve seen a significant drop in global trade, I think we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there … I think there may be other ways of doing it than with a tariff approach.”
WH Not Drawing Lines On Health Care
Bloomberg speculates union contracts may retain tax exemption in compromise: “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the chief congressional advocate of taxing some employer-provided benefits to help pay for an overhaul of the U.S. health system, says any change should exempt perks secured in existing collective- bargaining agreements, which can be in place for as long as five years. The exception, which could make the proposal more politically palatable to Democrats from heavily unionized states such as Michigan, is adding controversy to an already contentious debate.”
Walker Reports sees rejection of false bipartisanship. “On This Week, David Axelrod redefined bipartisanship as simply including Republican ideas in the bill. He only ‘hopes it will come with Republican votes.’ This is new willingness on the part of the White House to go it alone on health care reform. I suspect what happened is the White House saw just how watered down legislation would need to be to get Republicans’ support and was very not happy.”
The Treatment’s Jonathan Cohn details all the other critical issues to fight for beyond public plan option: “Will there be a maximum on out-of-pocket spending–and, if so, what will that maxiumum be? Will the govenrment guarantee relatively good benefits for everybody? Or will people still end up taking out insurance that has huge cost-sharing–not to mention skimpy coverage of mental health and other traditionally neglected services? How much funding for reform will come out of the pockets of the health care industry–and how much out of the pockets of individual taxpayers? How aggressively will the government try to change the way medicine is practiced, to improve quality and reduce waste? How slowly will all of these changes be introduced?”
Terrance Heath contributed to the making of this Breakfast