Eye Opener: Salazar says bipartisanship key to climate bill
Happy Friday! The White House will need to foster a more bipartisan atmosphere than it did on health-care reform if it wants to get serious about climate change and energy reform, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday.
There's "a possibility that you can do something" on climate change and energy, he said, but seemed to suggest -- if only through his body language -- that all hope is lost amid the collapsing health care talks.
"These are complicated issues and I don't think anybody knows how this will unfold in the weeks and months ahead," he said during an hour long conversation with The Washington Post editorial board.
"We are thinking a lot about that right now in terms of how best to move forward with it," Salazar said. The Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other parts of the Obama administration are working on potential legislation and policy changes to curb greenhouse gases and protect wildlife and open spaces.
"The conversations that we've had even in recent times with members of the U.S. Senate have had that sense of the need to bring people from different parties," Salazar said. "And I think because you have a Joe Lieberman and John McCain early on as advocates of climate change and legislation and cap and trade. ... You might be able to meld together a set of policy priorities that are of interest to senators on both sides."
Salazar demurred when asked if the White House erred in pushing health care legislation at the expense of climate change or energy talks. He met several times last year with former Senate colleagues skeptical of health care reforms and he said the administration did what it could to maintain bipartisanship.
"There were many overtures and conversations to Republican senators," he said. "The president spent a great deal of time trying to bring Republicans into a constructive role of dealing with the health care issue. Many other people did as well."
"I think at the end of the day there were, the entire Republican caucus, or many of them, thought it was to their political advantage to be the party of 'No' on this one," said Salazar.
[In the video clip above, Salazar answers questions about his 2010 goals, his Congressional wish list and his thoughts on what could have gone differently in 2009. The interview was shot in the newly renovated Post newsroom.]
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
• Obama Nominations Withdrawn: On Thursday the White House formally took back the nominations of Roszell Hunter to serve as a member of the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States; Erroll G. Southers to serve as administrator of the Transportation Security Administration; and Jide J. Zeitlin to serve as an ambassador to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform. Track all Obama nominees with The Post's Head Count.
• Cabinet and Staff News: Paul Volcker appears to have supplanted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who reportedly expressed skepticism behind closed doors about the bank limits proposed by President Obama. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calls for Web freedom, demands China investigate Google attack, but didn't impress everyone. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, on a surprise trip to Pakistan, urges a greater crackdown on the Taliban. Education Secretary Arne Duncan urges the NCAA to look at graduation rates. The administration's intelligence chiefs briefed a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Gen. David Petraeus set the bar low for Obama's Afghanistan troop surge. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke gets a special birthday present: a visit from First Lady Michelle Obama.
• CIA contractor flying spy drone over Haiti: Evergreen International Aviation is flying at least one ScanEagle surveillance drone over the country.
• U.S. firm to remove Bible references from gun sights: A Michigan-based company will stop putting biblical references on weapon scopes and other products made for the U.S. military and is sending the Pentagon kits to remove the references from weaponry already in the hands of troops.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:
• Senators try to thwart EPA efforts to curb emissions: The agency has been moving forward to enact regulations that would put costly limits on power plant pollution, making it the target of influential industry representatives and some lawmakers.
• FAA sends temporary air traffic control tower to Haiti: The tower is being transported aboard a large, chartered cargo aircraft and agency technicians will install and prepare it for service.
• Past decade warmest ever, NASA data shows: The agency also found that 2009 was the second warmest year since 1880, when modern temperature measurement began. The warmest year was 2005. The other hottest recorded years have all occurred since 1998, NASA said.
• Expert: engineer sent text messages before deadly train crash: The federal government should require surveillance cameras in nearly all locomotives, to allow railroad managers to see if engineers are texting or talking on cellphones, sleeping or admitting unauthorized visitors, the agency said.
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION:
• White House restarts search for TSA head: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is trying to fill the gap at the agency by devoting much of her attention to aviation security, aides said.
• Flight diverted to Philadelphia over security concerns, religious confusion: A 17-year-old unveiled a phylactery, a leather box worn during certain Jewish services early in the flight.
• It was no joke at security gate: A TSA guard reportedly planted a small, clear plastic bag with white powder in the carry-on luggage of a 22-year-old college student.
• Inside the Haiti response situation room: On the ninth floor of the Ronald Reagan building, the lights are on 24 hours a day in the room where the massive U.S. government response effort to the Haiti crisis is being coordinated.
| January 22, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Administration, Eye Opener, Health Care
Save & Share: Previous: Michelle Obama visits the Commerce Dept.
Next: Ex-TSA nominee Erroll Southers speaks out
Posted by: kavalair | January 27, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.