Politics

Gridlock for climate bill

The bill was proposed by Senators Joe Lieberman and Republican John Warner, and presented on the Senate floor. The expectation was that there would be a serious, substantial debate on the bill. Instead, Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell ignored the normal protocol and insisted that the whole bill be read aloud—all 490, or so, pages of it. The reading took nine hours.

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This was a form of obstruction by the Republican leaders in the Senate that filibustered the bill. Democrats did not have the votes to break the filibuster. And Democrats who supported it were understandably pretty upset -- like John Kerry of Massachusetts.

KERRY: "This deserves a better debate. And it's really sad that the world's greatest deliberative body has been reduced to tricks and gimmicks and parliamentary games, rather than an honest debate on the future of our country and the future of this issue."

Senator McConnell, the Republican leader, opposes a mandatory cap on greenhouse gases.

MCCONNELL: "We're amazed that they're calling this bill up at this particular time. I mean it's a stunning thing to behold. With gas prices being the number one issue in America they bring up a bill that objective analysis concludes is gonna raise gas taxes 53 cents."

Sen. McConnell conveniently left out the time frame for his prediction -- it's a 53 cent increase by the year 2030. So that breaks down to about two cents a gallon a year.