Some have misinterpreted Congress’s removing cap-and-trade from the budget as a backing off of near-term climate action (see “George Stephanopoulos, Nate Silver, and Marc Ambinder all seem confused about global warming and budget politics“).
[UPDATE1: The Washington Post has two articles -- a front-page story ("Democrats Take Knife to Budget" and an editorial "Softening the Wish List" -- that are quite confused on this point. Both articles also don't get that Obama's middle class tax cut is fully paid for by the cap. The WP mistakenly thinks that removing the tax cut from the budget is a deficit-reducing measure congressional Democrats are imposing on Obama. That is just bad political and budgetary analysis, again as I explained here.
UPDATE2: At least one person in the media heard the same press conference I did. E&E News (subs. req'd) ] headlines their story: “Obama makes bold cap-and-trade prediction: ‘We’ll get it done’.“]
President Obama was asked about this in his prime time news conference tonight. He made clear that he remains committed to cap-and-trade and expects to see a bill on his desk (transcript here):
Q: Right now on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats are writing a budget. And according to press accounts and their own statements, they’re not including the middle-class tax cut that you include in the stimulus, they’re talking about phasing that out, they’re not including the cap- and-trade that you have in your budget, and they’re not including other measures.
I know when you outlined your four priorities over the weekend, a number of these things were not in there. Will you sign a budget if it does not contain a middle-class tax cut, does not contain cap-and- trade?
[As an aside, people don't seem to get that the middle-class tax cut is entirely paid for by the cap, by the auctioning of CO2 permits. So that is another reason it's good that cap-and- trade is not in the budget: It means that the tax cut will have to be clearly tied to the cap from both a legislative and messaging perspective -- as it should be (see "CBO: Free cap and trade CO2 credits won't reduce consumer costs").]