Republicans Bail on Climate Markup
As promised, the Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the markup of the climate bill this morning.
Nearly all of the Democrats on the panel showed up, but of the Republicans only Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) made an appearance. He reiterated that he wanted more time to allow for further study of the bill, then left immediately after his 15-minute opening statement.
Committee chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), had offered several olive branches to placate Republcans, including a extension of the deadline for amendments until 5 p.m. today. She also adjusted the schedule on Tuesday to bring in EPA experts to answer questions about their modeling and analysis of the legislation. In addition, Boxer said she has confirmed with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will call for a five-week analysis of the legislation once it is combined with relevant measures from other committees. The EPA, Boxer noted, has compiled more than 340,000 pages of analysis on both the House and Senate bills already.
Voinovich, however, insisted that despite the stalling tactics he did really "want to work on a bipartisan basis." He said: "I'm pleading to you, the chairman, as a matter of the golden rule, or the second commandment ... for decency. I'm not trying to con you."