Waxman-Markey: It’s On!

by William Yeatman on June 23, 2009

It’s On!

In an unexpected move, House leadership last night took the procedural steps to hold a vote on the Waxman-Markey Clean Energy and Security Act by the end of the week.

The bill is designed to make energy more expensive, so it has engendered opposition from politicians that want to keep their jobs. Last month, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) passed the legislation out of the Energy and Commerce Committee he chairs only after buying off moderate democrats, one by one, with the federal proceeds from the energy tax (up to $2 trillion from 2012-2020, according to an official in President Barack Obama’s administration). In this fashion, for the last three weeks, Waxman has been trying to buy enough support in the Democratic caucus to pass the bill in the House.

These negotiations have been slow and difficult, which is why everyone, myself included, had assumed that this expensive energy bill would fail to come to the House floor for a vote before July 4th-the leadership’s self-imposed deadline.

Last night, however, House leadership submitted the bill to the Rules Committee for guidelines to structure the debate on the floor, which paves the way for a vote by Friday on the 1,000+ page Waxman Markey expensive energy bill.

According to E&E News (subscription required), House leadership intends to severely limit debate on the bill, presumably to avoid having vulnerable members of the Democratic make politically sensitive votes on amendments offered by Republicans. That’s a pity for anyone who buys into Obama’s “change” theme, because leadership had promised unfettered debate when it rode into power in 2006.

In a perfect world, Waxman fails to buy enough support for this energy tax and it dies a spectacular, front-page death. As of this morning, it’s unclear whether he’s collected enough voted for critical mass. With hope, there are enough responsible Congressmen to sink this trillion dollar energy tax before it has a chance to ruin the American economy.

Previous post:

Next post: