Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today said the Senate may not act on comprehensive energy and climate change legislation until next year, given the chamber’s busy fall schedule.
- “Obama can get a better climate bill in 2010. Here’s how” (Jan. 26)
- Majority Leader Reid: Senate to wait for House cap-and-trade bill, effectively delaying final bill until 2010. Here’s why that should be good news. (Apr. 21)
I’d say right now it’s about 50-50 we get a vote this year, and as readers know, I don’t think it matters terribly much. There’s gonna be a Senate vote on a climate bill — that is clear from Obama’s decision to speak at U.N. special session on global warming (and Todd Stern’s testimony). Even Inhofe knows that. We get one bit at this man apple, so the key is to work hard and pick the best time to pass the damn thing.
That said, I’d say the ideal time for a vote might be the first week in December, right before the international conference at Copenhagen. That’s when maximum attention and pressure can be brought to bear on this historical vote. But I do expect Copenhagen to 1) not have a final deal but 2) to move the negotiations forward, so having the debate and vote in January can also work.
I do think this vindicates my original recommendation back in January that “Obama needs to pass in 2009 the mother of all energy bills” and then pass a climate bill in early 2010. But now I think it is much too late to split the bills, as much as some members might like that. Nor does it appear that is Reid’s preference: