Saturday, 07 November 2009

Boxer Violates Senate Rules for "Cap-and-Trade" Bill

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Barbara BoxerDismissing concerns that the environmental assumptions underlying the bill may be fundamentally flawed, key Senate Democrats have ignored their own rules in an attempt to force an early vote on the radical Kerry-Boxer “cap-and-trade” legislation.

According to an Associated Press report,

Senate Democrats sidestepped a Republican boycott Thursday, pushing a climate bill out of committee in an early step on a long and contentious road to passage....

Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, had delayed the crucial vote for days because of a Republican protest over whether the cost of the legislation had been fully examined. But the California Democrat moved quickly to pass the bill Thursday, which for the first time would set mandatory limits on heat-trapping gases, without any of the seven GOP senators on the panel present. The measure cleared the panel on a 11-1 vote.

Boxer said the Republican demand for more analysis was "duplicative and waste of taxpayer dollars."
"Advancing the bill is a necessary step on the road to garnering the 60 votes we need," said Boxer, who introduced the bill along with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. in late September. "We are pleased that despite the Republican boycott, we have had the will to move this bill forward."

Radical environmentalists and internationalists have been increasing their pressure on the United States to pass “cap-and-trade” before the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. The reason for the pressure is that a fundamental element of the proposed Copenhagen agreement is a massive redistribution of wealth from the First World to the Third World — ostensibly to aid the transition of the poorer nations to a "green" economy. But without a U.S. commitment to help fund such transfers, it is far less likely that other areas of the developed world — the European Union, for example — will take the economically disastrous step of committing to such massive transfers. Thus Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), had a public meltdown about Obama’s inability thus far to force approval of “cap-and-trade” in time for the Copenhagen conference:

“I personally feel he (Barack Obama) ought to do a lot more (…) He really has to assert himself to see that the US passes legislation (…) He has to get the Senate to legislate the Kerry-Barbara Boxer bill (…) He had not (yet) put his weight behind it,” Rajendra Pachauri said according to AFP.

The IPCC chair added that he was cautiously optimistic on the chances of getting US legislation in place before the Copenhagen conference; that it is “critically important that the US be part of this world deal” and that a US bill “could make all the difference in the negotiations.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has taken the outrageous step of personally interjecting himself into the American political process by directly lobbying key members of the Senate. And now it appears that the annual bill for global wealth redistribution will not be a “mere” $100 billion, but may be as much as $400 billion in giveaways to the Third World. Thus, one may expect “cap-and-trade” and other means of taxation will only increase in the coming years to meet the expanded redistribution, if the United States agrees to the Copenhagen agreement.

The farce of Sen. Boxer’s concerns regarding “waste of taxpayer dollars” is obvious when considering the commitment to an endless waste of the tax dollars of the American people to be contemplated at the upcoming UN conference. Boxer’s actions are also simply the latest example of a blatant disregard for compromise, and for established bipartisan rules and procedures that have come to characterize the age of “Hope and Change.” According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI):

Under Senate committee rules and precedent, two members of the minority are customarily required to make a quorum for marking up a bill. But Republicans balked at Democratic efforts to pass the energy tax-and-ration bill before a complete analysis of its economic impacts had been done by EPA. The bill, S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Security Act, was introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.). The chief co-sponsor is Chairman Boxer.

“We congratulate Chairman Boxer and the committee’s Democrats for their methods.  They have so poisoned the atmosphere in the Senate that the terrible Kerry-Boxer bill is now dead,” said Myron Ebell, CEI Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy. “We also congratulate Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and the committee’s other Republicans for their steadfast opposition. They have made clear that the Democrats cannot move this catastrophic bill without violating the Senate’s rules.”

“This transparent end-run around agreed Senate rules not only is an admission that the bill's floor chances are non-existent, but it further dooms them,” said Christopher Horner, CEI Senior Fellow and energy policy expert, in an earlier statement. “What we see now is the acting out of the global warming industry's frustration over politicians valuing their own jobs, even if they recklessly flirt with threatening the jobs of others.

“The aim now is to wave around a committee-passed bill at the December ‘Kyoto’ talks in Copenhagen, as the ultimate 'offset' for the lack of political will to impose energy rationing on America, even through this back door,” said Horner. “But, as one key senator recently said, there's no bill so bad that it can't be voted out of the Senate Environment Committee.”

But what is voted out of committee is likely to encounter virtually insurmountable opposition as it comes before the full Senate. A commitment to a new, economically ruinous form of taxation for dubious environmental benefit, all so that more American dollars can be given away to other nations, is a hard sell when unemployment is over 10 percent, and federal budget deficits are reaching once-inconceivable levels.

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