Boxer Aims for Tuesday Markup on Climate Bill
By Juliet Eilperin
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) plans to take up climate legislation in her committee Tuesday, according to a senior aide -- if the Republicans don't stand in her way.
"It is our intention, as of now, to mark up Tuesday," a senior aide told The Washington Post Thursday.
The panel has spent the bulk of the week holding hearings on the bill authored by Boxer and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.). The measure has the backing of all committee Democrats except Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), whose panel also has jurisdiction over the measure.
But committee Republicans are uniformly opposed to it, and have raised the prospect of blocking a markup by failing to grant the majority a quorum. The Democrats need two of the panel's seven Republicans to attend a markup.
Matt Dempsey, spokesman for committee Republicans, said they will "get together" soon to decide if they'll push to delay the markup. "It's definitely moving in that direction," he said.
Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) has complained the panel needs additional economic analysis from the Environmental Protection Agency to proceed.
"Certainly we understand the importance of having an EPA analysis which talks about job losses and harm to consumers," Dempsey said.
Baucus is still negotiating with Boxer over how he might be able to support the measure, but made it clear Tuesday that in its current form, he did not think it would pass muster with either him or several other key lawmakers.
"We cannot afford the unmitigated impacts of climate change," he said, "but we also cannot afford the unmitigated effects of legislation."
October 29, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
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