Fall Legislative Outlook
According to CQ.com, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chair Barbara Boxer asked Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and John W. Warner, R-Va., “to write a bill that would cap nationwide greenhouse gas emissions.” They released the skeleton of the legislation in August and plan to introduce a final draft by the end of September. However, “Because the climate-change issue is so complex, marking up the bill will be no small task.” There are several other climate bills, including S. 309 (Sanders-Boxer) and S.1766 (Bingaman-Specter).
CQ.com reports that Harry Reid “plans to allow floor time for the Lieberman-Warner bill this fall if it wins approval in Boxer’s committee. No matter what the bill looks like, it will face procedural objections that can be overcome only with a 60-vote majority. It is unclear whether Reid would have enough votes to move beyond that obstacle.”
According to CQ, Energy and Commerce Committee chair John D. Dingell, D-Mich., also intends to introduce climate legislation to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent to 80 percent by 2050, although he has not announced any specific plans for the bill.
A first hurdle is the reconciliation process for the energy legislation that passed each chamber (HR 3221, and the Senate version of HR 6), which Dingell will be heavily involved in.
Dingell also announced his intentions to introduce global warming legislation for a carbon tax, a hike in the gas tax, and ending the McMansion mortgage deduction (homes larger than 3,000 square feet) while increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.