Senate Gearing Up For Cap-and-Trade

Meredith Jessup

4/16/2010 1:22:00 PM - Meredith Jessup
If you thought the health care debate lacked transparency, just wait until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveils his plans for cap-and-trade.

Just like they hammered out backroom deals in exchange for Obamacare votes, Democrats, once again, are going to bypass the normal rules of the federal legislative process and draft a Senate cap-and-trade bill behind closed doors: 
Next week, Reid will be handed the reins of the bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions while expanding domestic oil, gas and nuclear power production. His challenge could not be tougher...

In an effort to keep the bill in Reid's hands, the sponsors -- Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) won't officially introduce the bill in the Senate when they unveil it to the public next week.

"If we introduce it, it'll get referred to committees," Lieberman said. "We want him to be able to work with it and bring it out onto the floor as a leader whenever he's ready." [...]

Already, some senators also are raising red flags about the committee process, which they warn may be circumvented if the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman proposal moves directly into Reid's office.

"These bills need to go through committee," said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). "If you're talking about making major deals on energy policy, it needs to go through the Energy Committee. If you're making major deals on tax policy, it needs to go through the Finance Committee. I mean, if you want to get it done."

Once again, not the kind of transparency the country was promised in 2008.  Facing an uphill battle in the upcoming elections, progressive Democrats (and Republicans...) are likely going to try to push through as many agenda items as possible before November.  Unfortunately for us, that includes cap-and-tax.

Get ready: Reid will unveil the Senate's "climate bill" on April 26 and it's not going to be pretty...