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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Democrats Ducking, Dodging, In Disarray On National Energy Tax Legislation

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH): A little more than a year ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “laid down the gauntlet,” “going all out” to strong-arm members of her caucus into supporting a job-killing national energy tax.  Now, with the bill stalled in the Senate, there is a growing backlash amongst Democrats who “walked the plank” on this unpopular bill.  And prominent Democrats won’t give up on the idea of ignoring the will of the American people and passing a national energy tax in a ‘sour grapes’ lame duck session following the election. Under the headline “Dems feeling burned on climate,” today’s POLITICO reports on the brewing discontent amongst Democrats:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) demanded the June 2009 vote over vocal complaints from within her ranks that she should lead President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda with anything but climate change. …

“Several House Democrats said there’s a bit of an ‘I told you so’ sentiment after they saw Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) abandon cap-and-trade legislation last week because of nearly uniform Republican opposition and dissent from about a dozen moderates in his own party.

“‘In hindsight, we’d have probably done it differently,’ said Rep. Gene Green, a Houston-area Democrat who ultimately supported the climate bill. …

“‘If this was all about the theatrics of climate change for our base ..., that’s simply not good enough,’ said Rep. Tim Walz, a southern Minnesota Democrat who helped negotiate key agriculture provisions just before the floor vote.”
Yesterday’s Washington Post also noted Democrats’ “sense of abandonment” by their leadership:
“This has left some House Democrats feeling badly served by their leaders. Although lawmakers are reluctant to say so publicly, their aides and campaign advisers privately complain that the speaker and the president left Democrats exposed on an unpopular issue that has little hope of being signed into law.”
At a White House meeting between the President and Congressional leaders yesterday, House Democratic leaders reportedly tried to pass the buck by blaming the Senate for failing to take up the measure. According to an account of the meeting, Speaker Pelosi turned to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “and announced, ‘The Senate is moving at a glacial pace, slower than the glaciers are actually melting.’”

Sensing political danger,” Senator Reid “has repeatedly put off energy legislation” this year. Instead, Democrats have come up with a ‘plan B’ – moving the bill through Congress in a lame duck session.  Several Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid, have already hinted at the plan:
  • Speaker Pelosi: “This is an Issue that the Senate Can’t Walk Away From.” “Across town at Netroots Nation, a rival gathering of liberal activists, the prospect of lame duck action on climate was welcome news. … House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today did not expressly commit to action in a lame duck session during a Q-and-A session, but she said she ‘certainly’ wanted Congress to act this year, noting it is a ‘flagship issue’ for her. ‘This is an issue that the Senate can’t walk away from,’ Pelosi said to an enthusiastic response. ‘I just hope they have a bill that’s substantial enough that we can pass it but we’re not going away on this.’” (The Wall Street Journal, 7/24/10)
  • Senate Majority Leader Reid: “We’re Going to Have to Have a Lame-Duck Session, So We’re Not Giving Up.”< “‘We’re going to have to have a lame-duck session, so we’re not giving up,’ Reid said at the weekend Netroots Nation conference of liberal bloggers, in reference to Democrats’ unfinished priorities. Those priorities include comprehensive immigration reform, climate change legislation and a whole host of other issues.” (The Hill, 7/27/10)
  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) “Stopped Short of Pledging Not to Move a Major Initiative.” “While Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the Democratic leadership, said there was no plan to move energy legislation or any other major measures during the period after the election before new lawmakers are sworn in, he stopped short of pledging not to move a major initiative.” (The Hill, 7/27/10)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA): “Maybe After November Hopefully People Will Take a Deep Breath and Be Able to Come Back Here Do It.” “‘My hope is we can do much better than that,’ Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said of the Reid bill, which focuses mainly on the Gulf oil spill cleanup, oversight of coastal drilling and little else. ‘I think we are missing a major opportunity here to do something that is not only good for the environment, but actually good for job creation. Maybe after November hopefully people will take a deep breath and be able to come back here do it.’” (The Examiner, 7/28/10)
While Democrats are busy arguing with one another and making plans to dodge voter accountability in a lame duck session of Congress, Republicans remain squarely focused on listening to the American people and “deliberately reaching out to the grass roots” through America Speaking Out. Republicans are also offering better solutions to address our nation’s energy and climate needs with the American Energy Act. This legislation would use the funds generated by expanded American energy production to speed up the development of the next generation of clean-energy alternatives. It would also lower fuel costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and – at a time when Americans are asking, where are the jobs? – it would create more than a million new American jobs.

Tags: Democrats, National Energy Tax, cap-and-trade, John Boehner. US House, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 9:59 PM - Post Link

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