Thursday, November 5, 2009
Sen. Inhofe on approval of sweeping climate change bill
Contrary to Senate Rules: Climate bill passes without GOP present (first time in history)
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved climate change legislation Thursday with no Republicans voting for the bill or even participating in the process.
With Republican boycotting the proceedings, Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) relied on a little used interpretation of committee rules to move the legislation. Traditionally, two minority members are required to conduct committee business.
Boxer said that she passed the bill “in full accordance with long-standing committee and Senate rules.”
“This is not a procedure we wanted; it’s a procedure that’s available to us,” said Boxer. “The majority has to be able to do its work…otherwise the whole Senate could come to a screeching halt.”
Republicans called Boxer’s move the “nuclear option,” warning that it violated decades of committee precedent.
“I am here to appeal to you and the members of the committee,” Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the committee, said in a brief statement. “In the history of this committee, we have not been able to find a time when the bill has been marked up without minority.”