GOP Still Blocking Climate Bill


Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says she will move forward on climate legislation tomorrow, with or without Republicans, who have pledged to boycott the markup.

Republican leaders sent a letter to Boxer on Monday afternoon saying they want more  analysis before participating in a markup. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), a member of Boxer’s Environment and Public Works committee, made the initial request. He’s since been joined by a number of GOP ranking members of key committees: Lisa Murkowski (Energy and Natural Resources), Saxby Chambliss of Georgia (Agriculture), Chuck Grassley (Finance), James Inhofe (Environment and Public Works) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (Commerce, Science and Transportation).

The big problem with the senators’ claim is that there’s already plenty of analysis available about the climate bill. The proposal largely mirrors the Waxman-Markey legislation that passed the House in June, which has been scrutinized by the EPA, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Energy Information Administration. The Environmental Protection Agency released a preliminary study of the Senate bill, along with the chairman’s mark, on Friday, Oct. 23. And if that wasn’t enough, Boxer’s committee held nine different panels with 54 expert witnesses last week. For months, Voinovich has been asking for new studies from the EPA, presumably ones that produce doom and gloom predictions that the bill will devastate the American economy. But the raft of studies completed so far show just the opposite.

Although the GOP is trying to hide behind relative moderates like Voinovich—who at least admits that climate change is a problem—in its latest gambit, they’re really aligning with the denialists like Inhofe. The goal is to mire the process in bitter partisan fights until the climate bill stalls indefinitely in the Senate.

EPW committee rules require that at least two Republicans be present to begin markup. In a statement on Monday, Boxer urged Inhofe to call the Republicans back to work and announced that she plans to proceed on Tuesday whether or not her GOP colleagues show up. The markup is slated to begin at 9 a.m. What will happen is anybody’s guess.

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.