Senate Panel Approves Climate Change Bill Despite GOP Boycott
November 05, 2009
In a rare move, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday approved a sweeping climate change bill without any Republicans present.
Republicans had boycotted the committee’s work on the bill, insisting on a cost analysis of the proposal by the EPA.
The bill would require cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent over the next decade from 2005 levels. But Republicans warned the bill would leave consumers with higher energy bills.
“This would be the largest tax increase in the history of America,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the seven committee Republicans, told Fox News. “I can only conclude that they don’t want the public to know how much money this thing is going to cost.”
Inhofe, who said the committee typically needs two minority members present to advance a bill to the floor, called the vote Thursday “unprecedented.”
One Democrat, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., voted against the bill.
But it still appears unlikely that the Senate will approve the legislation this year. Inhofe said the legislation is “dead.”
A bipartisan group of senators is trying to craft a compromise bill in hopes of attracting broader support.