President Barack Obama is inviting key House Democrats to the White House on Tuesday to discuss the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, as well as health care and other issues. Obama is expected to encourage the Democrats — many of whom have expressed concerns about the climate bill — to come to consensus around it.
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) — who lead the Energy and Commerce Commitee and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, respectively — are currently negotiating with moderate Democratic committee members to get support for the bill. They plan to start debating and amending the legislation in subcommittee this week, with the aim of passing it out of the full committee by Memorial Day — just three weeks away.
Obama has called on Congress repeatedly to deliver a climate bill to him this year, affirming in his March press conference, “We’ll get it done. And I will sign it.” During his Earth Day trip to an Iowa wind-turbine manufacturing plant, he praised the draft bill from Waxman and Markey. “My hope is that this will be the vehicle through which we put this policy in effect,” Obama said.
Still, some liberal members of Congress and environmentalists think the president hasn’t done enough so far to support the legislation, and last week started calling for him to get involved.
This Saturday Night Live sketch might provide insight into what Tuesday’s meeting will look like: