Climate Change Barely Passed The House. Senate Passage Will Be More Difficult.
Friday's razor-thin 219-212 House passage of the Climate Change bill, H.R.2454, was a testament to the dogged persistance of President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As tough as that was, Senate passage will be a lot more difficult.
On April 1, 2009, 26 coal and manufacturing state Democrats joined all 41 Senate Republicans in favor of Senator Mike Johann's (R-NE) amendment to the Budget Resolution, S.Con.Res.13, disallowing the use of "reconciliation" to pass a Climate Change bill. "Reconciliation" would allow passage by a majority vote instead of the 60 votes normally needed to pass major bills. It would also prevent extraneous killer amendments. Some of those 26 Democrats may feel secure enough of their reelection chances to vote in favor of a Climate Change bill this fall, but many won't. That's why I'd be surprised if the Senate can pass a Climate Change bill this year. I could be proven wrong if President Obama can mount enough public pressure on those 26 Senate Democrats to turn them around, but that would be a tall order.