Senate Democrats ready to pass climate bill Thursday despite GOP boycott, sources say
By Juliet Eilperin
Senate Democrats are likely to pass their climate bill out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee without amendments Thursday, several sources familiar with the plan said Wednesday night.
Facing an ongoing Republican boycott of the committee's markup of the bill, the panel's chairman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), is considering reporting out the measure with a simple majority, the sources said. That move would not require the presence of two minority members, which is traditionally required for a markup.
Republican senators have defended the boycott, saying that they should not act on the bill -- sponsored by Boxer and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) -- until they get a more extensive analysis of it from the Environmental Protection Agency.
David McIntosh, associate administrator for EPA's office of congressional and intergovernmental relations, testified before the panel Tuesday that such a study would cost $135,000 and would take 1,600 man-hours to complete. He added that such an analysis would not yield significantly different results from the one the agency has already done on the Senate bill.
An aide to Boxer declined to comment on the matter Wednesday night. The committee is convening at 9 a.m. Thursday.
November 4, 2009; 11:15 PM ET
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