Remember how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week opened the door to the possibility of using cap-and-trade revenues to fund a new health-care system? He’s now sounding less enthused about the idea, saying he has “no big plot” to pay for health care with cap-and-trade.
Meanwhile, it’s become clear that Congress will have to pass climate legislation separately from the budget — and that means 60 votes will be needed in the Senate.
Both the House and Senate approved budget resolutions on Thursday, versions of President Obama’s budget plan. But while Obama included a cap-and-trade plan in his budget, the House and Senate resolutions don’t (and the Senate’s in fact specifically bars it).
Still, enviros are cheering the fact that Congress’ budget resolutions contain at least the basic framework to allow for climate and energy legislation later this year, including a reserve fund for energy projects.
“With investments that will help generate millions of jobs and protect our land, air, and water, this is one of the most environmentally responsible and economically stimulating budgets in American history,” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters. “It builds an irresistible momentum towards a new era of clean energy with more jobs, greater security, and a cleaner planet.”