Gird your loins, taxpayers and ratepayers.
Sen. Barbara Boxer is readying her cap-and-tax monstrosity, and she is hoping to soften opposition among Climate Change Republicans. E&E News reports on the latest maneuvering, via Matt Dempsey at the US Senate Cmte on Environment and Public Works:
The Senate climate debate has largely been in standby mode since June, but Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is ready to kick-start the process with the release next week of a draft bill.
Sources off Capitol Hill say they expect Boxer to start legislative hearings during the week of Oct. 5, with a tentative markup penciled in for the week of Oct. 12.
…While Senate Democrats have largely kept their focus on winning over their own, Kerry has also taken the lead in direct talks with Republicans. More negotiations are expected as the bill ripens and authors hope to also win over conservative Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.
“I’m feeling pretty good about the tactics, the strategy, that as much as possible, we’d like it to include Republicans,” Lautenberg said. “The one thing I believe, bipartisanship is a means, not an ends.”
As they prepare for their bill introduction, Boxer and Kerry are most likely looking for help from Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who currently is in the thick of the health care debate. Down the line, the Democrats are also hopeful they can satisfy other longtime climate advocates, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Richard Lugar of Indiana.
“We think we can get Republican support for this bill,” Cardin added. “Not just one senator, but several.”
Lugar, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he is open to working with Democrats but dismissed a question on whether Republicans like himself and McCain were reluctant to sign up for a climate bill because it was among President Obama’s top domestic agenda items.
“I don’t know that we’ve pulled back,” Lugar said. “It’s just the formulation from the House I find objectionable on many grounds. Without jumping up and down any further, I think more constructive ways of fighting climate change can be found and I’ll be working to find it.”
For a refresher on McCain’s global warming pandering — bring your blood pressure medicine — click here.