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Boxer: GOP boycott won’t stop climate-change bill

By Josh Richman
Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 4:48 pm in Barbara Boxer, energy, Environment, General, Global warming, healthcare reform, Joe Lieberman, U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is moving ahead with her cap-and-trade climate change bill despite Republican threats to boycott next Tuesday’s mark-up session.

“That won’t stop us. We’re going to use every tool at our disposal to get that done,” she said this afternoon during a visit to Blue Bottle Coffee Co. on Webster Street near Oakland’s Jack London Square, at which she was touting her efforts to support small businesses through the economic downturn. Asked to elucidate on “every tool at our disposal,” she replied, “We’ll use the rules of the committee.”

“We are going to sit down on Tuesday, we’re ready to go, we’re not canceling it,” she said “I’m still hoping the Republicans will come to the committee room and do their work.”

Boxer said she can’t imagine why anyone with a chance to end America’s dependence on foreign oil, combat climate change and create jobs all at the same time would boycott such an opportunity, going “absent without leave, AWOL” at a moment so vital to the nation’s interests. She urged the committee’s Republican members to “try to work with us, let’s try to get something done.”

Part of the small-business support scheme of which Boxer spoke today was affordable health care, which she said absolutely must contain a public option. U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., this week said he’ll refuse to caucus with Senate Democrats to break a filibuster on any health care reform legislation containing a public option.

Boxer in 2006 was among Senate Democrats who went to Connecticut to stump for Lieberman in the Democratic primary – angering many of her more liberal constituents, given his support of the Iraq war and other stances – though she later supported Democratic nominee Ned Lamont in that year’s general election. And Senate Democrats have been kind to Lieberman since, including letting him keep his chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in hopes he would caucus with them on vital votes such as this.

Asked today what she thought of Lieberman’s health care stance, Boxer replied she “can’t answer for him, I just want to say that we have to get this (health care reform) done.”

“All of our colleagues will be making important decisions, but at the end of the day, we can do this with a majority, not a super-majority,” she said, making it clear she was speaking for herself and not for Senate Democratic leaders.

Democrats would need 60 votes for cloture to overcome a Republican filibuster and bring a health-care bill to the floor for a final vote, but there’s been talk that they might use a procedure called “budget reconciliation” to move the bill through with just 50 votes.

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  • Mary Jo

    You dropped the ball on the last one, you silly cow!

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Who gives a mouse’s rear-end what the “Year of the Woman” senator thinks about these issues. “Cap-and-trade” won’t come cheaply, nor will healthcare insurance reform. What does ol’ B.B. say about that?

  • JG27 AD

    Senator Boxer (D-Saturn) must be out of her mind if she really believes that this legislation will benefit the people of California or the US.

    There isn’t anyone who does not see that crippling the nation’s energy supply/use as crippling our nation.

    AD

  • Mike F.

    I’m all for getting us off foreign oil, but I don’t trust Boxer. The devil is in her details. As for Joe L., at least he stands for what he believes in, even when it was against his party. He was a big loss for the Demos. Too bad more politicians don’t stand up for themselves and not their party. No to foreign oil, but no to “Cap and Trade” too. Why cripple ourselves – lets invest in the technology and alternate energy, but lets not invent some untested and costly market system that misses the point.