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Sen. Robert Casey Joins Filibuster Threat Against Obama’s Cap And Trade Plan

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"Sen. Robert Casey Joins Filibuster Threat Against Obama’s Cap And Trade Plan"

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Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) has joined conservative senators who want to preserve the threat of a filibuster against President Obama’s legislation to fight global warming pollution. President Obama’s climate adviser Carol Browner has been testing the waters of using the budget reconciliation process to pass his cap-and-trade plan, preventing a floor filibuster and allow passage with the support of 50 senators. However, this effort has “drawn opposition from 28 senators,” in a letter sent Thursday to the Senate Budget Committee:

We oppose using the budget reconciliation process to expedite passage of climate legislation.

The signatories, organized by Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Robert Byrd (D-WV), include 22 Republicans and six Democrats. Every Democrat except for Sen. Casey had indicated their opposition to progressive climate legislation last year, by stating they would have blocked the industry-friendly Lieberman-Warner bill because it did not do enough to protect polluters. On January 28, 2009, Sen. Casey argued convincingly that the Senate needed to address “catastrophic global warming” immediately:

The threat of catastrophic global warming may seem to be a second priority after fixing our current economic crisis, but I believe that we if we do not address both simultaneously we are setting ourselves up for another crisis in the future that will have untold consequences on the world’s economy and population. We must work aggressively to fix our immediate problems while ensuring our long-term security and prosperity.

The full text of the letter:

March 12, 2009

Dear Chairman Conrad and Ranking Member Gregg:

We oppose using the budget reconciliation process to expedite passage of climate legislation.

Enactment of a cap-and-trade regime is likely to influence nearly every feature of the U.S. economy. Legislation so far‐reaching should be fully vetted and given appropriate time for debate, something the budget reconciliation process does not allow. Using this procedure would circumvent normal Senate practice and would be inconsistent with the Administration’s stated goals of bipartisanship, cooperation, and openness.

We commend you for holding the recent hearing, entitled “Procedures for Consideration of the Budget Resolution/Reconciliation,” which discussed important recommendations for the upcoming budget debate. Maintaining integrity in the budget process is critical to safeguarding the fiscal health of the United States in these challenging times.

Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Robert Casey (D-PA)
George Voinovich (R-OH)
Michael Enzi (R-WY.)
Charles Grassley (R-IA)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Kit Bond (R-MO)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
David Vitter (R-LA)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Bob Corker (R-TN)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

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