House Energy Vows to Expedite Consideration of 'Cap and Trade'
By David Fahrenthold
On the morning after another debate that stretched almost to midnight, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has pledged to hurry up its consideration of a landmark bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions.
At the start of Day Four of the committee's debate, ranking Republican Joe Barton (Texas) said he and Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) had agreed to limit debate on each new amendment to 10 minutes. That came after a second marathon session yesterday, in which the committee members spent much of their morning talking about a small change related to nuclear power.They spent much of the evening talking about a proposal to auction off all pollution credits, instead of giving many away for free. That amendment was eventually crushed, in a 52-4 vote.
"We have agreed to expedite the process today," Barton said. "We will have a final-passage vote this afternoon, within an hour or so after the House concludes its business."
Barton said that Republicans would give up their right to demand the reading of the 900-plus-page legislation. That potential delaying tactic had worried Democrats so much that they had a speed reader on call, Dow Jones reported.
In return, Barton said, Waxman had agreed to hold more hearings on the bill's "cap-and-trade" scheme, after it had passed committee.
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