Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 30, 2009

EPW BOYCOTT TO DELAY ENERGY REFORM BILL.... Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) intends to move on its climate change bill on Tuesday. The legislation, championed by Boxer and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), has drawn some support from Republicans, and would clear the committee easily -- Dems enjoy a 12-7 majority on the panel.

So, to scuttle the legislation, committee Republicans have decided not to show up on Tuesday.

Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee will boycott the mark-up of the Kerry-Boxer climate bill if Chairwoman Barbara Boxer tries to take it up next week.

The seven Republican members on the committee met on the Senate floor last night and unanimously agreed to a boycott, according to Republican aides.

Boxer doesn't need their votes, but she does need at least two of the seven to actually be in the room and establish a quorum. The boycott will make that impossible, at least for now.

The Politico report added that the boycott is "being led by the two most moderate Republican members on the committee: Sens. George Voinovich of Ohio, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee." That seems a little hard to believe -- Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the committee, began orchestrating the boycott a week ago.

It's worth noting that conservative Republicans aren't the only problem with reforming U.S. energy policy. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), the caucus' most conservative member, was asked this morning whether a cap-and-trade proposal can garner congressional approval before the end of next year. "No," he said. "I haven't been able to sell that argument to my farmers, and I don't think they're going to buy it from anybody else."

A few weeks ago, the prospects of meaningful Senate action on climate change looked pretty good. Today, they look far less encouraging.

Steve Benen 2:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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Comments

Isn't refusing to show up for work grounds for termination? These guys are our employees. An immediate rule change is in order.

Posted by: FC on October 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Isn't refusing to show up for work grounds for termination? These guys are our employees. An immediate rule change is in order."

Hear hear!

Posted by: Chris on October 30, 2009 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I was thinking the same thing. Congressmen and Senators should be paid for work performed. Shirking or Boycotting committee work should be grounds for censure, pay cuts, and termination.

aimai

Posted by: aimai on October 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

It really doesn't get much more childish than this!

Posted by: JohnnyD on October 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

You know, if Dems tried this shit it'd be the biggest news story for the next week and a half. (Insert "what liberal media" line here.)

But once again, obstructing the American people's business is totally okay if you're a scumbag Republican.

Posted by: Mark D on October 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing. Every time that we let these so-called "conservatives" gain power, they start a war, deficit-spend the treasury into to their friends' pockets, and run the economy into a ditch.

Now that they're out of power, they use every asinine trick in the book to try to make sure that people who can formulate policy and govern are unable to do so.

When will we learn?

Posted by: Churchyard on October 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think we will ever see this reported as such on the tiny media?

Naahh!

Posted by: st john on October 30, 2009 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps death threats if they show up for work would give them an excuse to not show up, and save them the embarrassment of just saying "No", as someone's wife once suggested to addicts.
Are they really doing this? These are sociopaths.

Posted by: st john on October 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

And these are the same people who will scream at you that the collective bargaining power of unions are what's destroying America.

Posted by: chrenson on October 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

How do these useless republicans keep a straight face when they get their pay from our taxes. They are so useless they might as well all go hiking on the Appalachian trail.They are so busy denying rights to hard working Americans and they are actively working to see the country fail.

Posted by: JS on October 30, 2009 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Have legislatures always used rules of order in such a childish way? It seems like we live in a particularly juvenile time for governing.

And do we still have to pay these guys if they are making such a show of NOT showing up to work?

Posted by: joejoejoe on October 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Change the rules. Make a majority = a quorom. Do it on the day when they shirk their duty to their country.

Posted by: Patrick on October 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans used to be the fiscally sober ones who worked hard, kept the balance sheets balanced, faced facts, and believed in capitalism -- the freer and more open the market the better.

Now theyrun like scared little kitties from real competition (the public option, say, in health care). They fight the government that pays their salaries (which they seem happy to collect, along with the health care benefits) by not showing up to meet quorums, not approving Obama appointees, going overseas to bad-mouth the US in times of war and critical negotiations.

What a disgrace. What loathsome, disgusting, immoral, reprehensible, parasitical, greed-gorged pigs. What can be done when there is such a useless, destructive crowd that, though outnumbered, still remains a critical mass determined to wreck things? Could there be an attendance requirement applicable to those who are healthy but, well, too busy to come to work? Could they be censured? Could they be fined if they pull such stunts more than once? God knows they care about their own bank accounts, if not the people's.

Posted by: SF on October 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

They should serve pork at the meeting, then maybe they'd show up.

They might even get Inhofe if they served a big buffet of stupid, with extra dumbass sauce.

Posted by: BGinCHI on October 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Can't they be arrested by Capitol Police and forced to appear?

Did I completely make that up?

Posted by: Mr Furious on October 30, 2009 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Boxer better still hold the vote and make them actually not show up. No letting them off the hook fake-filibuster-style.

Posted by: Mr Furious on October 30, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

isn't there a procedure to just withdraw the referral to the committee and bring legislation directly to the full chamber?

Posted by: zeitgeist on October 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

How many days do you think it will be before our political media start referring to this as "of course, you have to get Republican votes to pass anything" like pretending a filibuster is just "it requires 60 votes to pass anything"?

Posted by: Redshift on October 30, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

isn't there a procedure to just withdraw the referral to the committee and bring legislation directly to the full chamber?

Yes, there is. It's called a discharge petition. Unfortunately, what you're describing is available only in the House.

Posted by: Jeremy B. on October 30, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans used to be the fiscally sober ones who worked hard, kept the balance sheets balanced, faced facts, and believed in capitalism -- the freer and more open the market the better.

There actually was never a time when they pursued all of those things simultaneously. Back when they were fiscally sober (pre-Reagan), they had a more sane view of capitalism; they were pro-business but not reflexively anti-regulation. By the time they went for less-regulation-is-always-better "free" markets, fiscal restraint had gone out the window, though they've never stopped pretending they're the ones who believe in it.

But to put it more simply, those aren't the same Republicans we have now, any more than it makes sense to think that they're the pro-civil rights moderate and liberal Republicans of the 60s. In both cases, they drove those people out, and they're not the same party any more than a football team is the same one as twenty years ago just because they wear the same uniform.

Posted by: Redshift on October 30, 2009 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK
Republicans used to be the fiscally sober ones who worked hard, kept the balance sheets balanced, faced facts, and believed in capitalism -- the freer and more open the market the better.

Um ... when the hell was that?

They've never been the only ones who worked hard. They've never been the ones to "face facts." They've never been the ones who ... well, okay, they've been big fans of less regulation for a while, so I'll give you that.

The rest, though, is nothing but revisionist history. Sorry you feel for it -- you seem like a decent person.

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Posted by: Arsenio on March 11, 2010 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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