House climate bill could get fast-tracked
The sponsors of the House climate and energy bill were supposed to release the final text of their legislation and open it up for debate this week, but the process has stalled out.
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) have been trying to come to agreement with moderates on the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, who have balked at elements of the bill.
Waxman on Tuesday indicated that rather than trying to get the bill passed through subcommittee, he and Markey may fast-track it and skip to a full vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee. “I’m still holding firm on my deadline to get a bill out of committee by the end of May and I believe that will probably require us to go right to the full committee and bypass the subcommittee,” Waxman told reporters.
But he later issued a statement saying they haven’t yet decided how to proceed. “No final decisions on process have been made. I am consulting with members of the Energy & Commerce Committee about the best way forward to ensure that we report a comprehensive clean energy bill by the Memorial Day recess,” Waxman said in the statement.
Markey spokesperson Dan Reilly confirmed to Grist that they have not yet determined the best path forward. “All options are on the table,” he said. “We’re continuing to have constructive and productive discussions with all members.”
About a dozen Democratic members of the committee met at the White House with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday to discuss the climate bill and other issues on the committee’s plate. Obama encouraged them to reach consensus on the bill.
Said Waxman afterward, “We’re working out these issues because we want to be together and we want to succeed in getting this legislation through.”