Senator Barbara Boxer (D) of California decided it was time to move needed legislation on Climate Change out of her committee on Environment and Public Works on Thursday, November 5, 2009. Republican Senator Inhofe complained that Bill S. 1733, The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, passed without any Republican support on an 11-to-1 vote, with all Democrats in Boxer’s committee voting for the bill except Senator Max Baucus of Montana. Boxer probably thought the stonewalling tactics of the Republicans were standing in the way of the people’s business, and she wisely decided it was time to trump their silly games in the Committee.
Stop Silly Stonewalling Tactics by Republican Senators
While Inhofe self-righteously claims the Democrats ignored Republicans on the bill, it is important to note that the Republicans were purposely slowing things down in the committee by not showing up for committee hearings or sending one person at a time, less than the number of minority party Senators, for proper debate or for taking a vote to move the legislation out of committee. Fortunately, Sen. Boxer used an exception clause to allow her to have the bill voted out of committee in spite of the underhanded tactics of the Republicans. They were using their little parlor tricks to stall the bill so it would not get to the floor before the upcoming Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December 7-18, 2009.
When Senators refuse to engage in civil discourse about the topics in their committee and instead stall by utilizing these type of annoying tactics, it may become necessary to call for an exception clause in order to continue the work of the Senate. It seems as if many Republicans only want to stop important legislation that would benefit Americans and people of all political parties.
Republicans Boycott Climate Change Debate
Bernie Sanders said in the opening statements of committee members in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works when they began mark-up of Bill S.1733:
“This country faces the most serious set of problems that we have faced since the Great Depression. Now should be a time of working together vigorously, not slowing things down. And here we are today, dealing with an issue that some believe is the most important issue facing not only the people of America, but the people of the world– the future of the planet that we are going to leave to our children and our grandchildren. And today we begin the mark-up and we look around and Guess What! Not one Republican is in this room! What is going on here? So I think, to say the least, that is a very sad state of affairs.”
The Time Is Right for Climate Change Legislation Before the Copenhagen Summit 2009
This is a rare time in history when meaningful legislation on Climate Change can finally be passed after 8 years of turning back the clock on a rational view of the issue based on science and cause and effect. It’s OK to have dialogue and debate. However, it is not OK for party ideologues to purposely stand in the way of positive change for the better of all Americans and for the world.
THANK YOU SENATOR BOXER. If other Senators in other committees use these stonewalling tactics, for the sake of all Americans, let’s hope other sensible Committee Chairs decide to use “exception” clauses to bypass rules that the Republicans hope to leverage in order to stand in the way of positive change that we all need.
Chancellor Merkel Addresses Congress (4) on world issues, Meets with Pres. Obama
Chancellor Merkel urged President Obama and the Congress to join other nations at the upcoming Copenhagen Summit to take concrete steps to alleviate global warming by signing a Climate Change Agreement to limit carbon emissions.