As I have said many times “Obama can get a better climate bill in 2010” “” although that is true only if he and Congress have a coherent strategy to do just that (which at this point, they don’t, see below).
Since the CBO has made clear that health care reform is tougher than climate action (also see here) and since conservatives see blood in the water (see TP’s Inhofe: If GOP Can ‘Stall’ Or ‘Block’ Health Care Reform, It Will Be ‘A Huge Gain’ For The 2010 Elections) and since the Senate will try to do health care first and since tortoise-like Senate floor debates are a lot longer than hare-like House debates, it is all but impossible to imagine the Senate vote on a climate bill before November.
And I’d say it’s at least 50-50 the vote isn’t until December or January, which would put a final bill, conferenced and passed again by both House and Senate, on Obama’s desk maybe in March. That should not be a surprise to CP readers.
No hurry. Right now, the House bill starts its first cap in 2012, but in any case the cap doesn’t actually start to bite for several more years after that, so it is far more important that the one shot we get in the Senate is our best shot. And we need time for several reasons: