Welcome to the era of “bipartisanship.” Republican participation be damned. Welcome to the most deliberative body in the world. Full deliberation be damned, too:
Six ranking Republican U.S. senators Monday warned the head of the environment committee that pushing ahead with a vote on a landmark climate bill this week would “severely damage” the chances of passing the legislation.
Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) has said she’s prepared to begin consideration of the climate bill Tuesday despite objections by GOP committee members who want a full economic analysis of the proposal.
The six panel members said they would try to block passage of the bill through committee by not attending the scheduled markup. Under committee rules, at least two members of the minority are needed to vote on legislation.
Ms. Boxer then indicated she may try to push the bill through committee without the Republicans: Senate rules allow bills to be approved in committee by a simple majority. The chairwoman urged her GOP colleagues to reconsider their decision and “come back to work.”
“This bill has had comprehensive legislative hearings, with 54 expert witnesses in nine panels,” Ms. Boxer said in a statement Monday. “No climate bill has ever had this level of review and the Obama Administration stands behind the EPA’s analysis,” she said.
The ranking members of the six committees responsible for considering different provisions of the bill — including the environment, finance, foreign relations, agriculture, energy and commerce panels — said in a letter to Boxer they are “deeply troubled” by the chairwoman’s plan to move ahead without the comprehensive analysis.
Although the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a short analysis of the Senate bill, the agency said a comprehensive analysis wouldn’t be finished for a few more weeks.
Like the Tea Party sign says…
FYI: Boxer’s GOP Senate opponent is Chuck Devore. Lend him your support.