The Democrats were always going to need Republican votes to pass the bipartisan clean air, clean energy jobs, livable climate, energy security bill. And that was always going to be a challenge in this political climate, see “The central question for 2010: Will anti-science ideologues be able to kill the bipartisan climate and clean energy jobs bill?”).
Last week, the Reid underscored his commitment to act in his must-read speech to a clean energy conference (see Senate Majority Leader expects to cons bipartisan energy and climate bill this spring: It “may be the most important policy we will ever pass”). Perhaps that’s why he delivered the following remarks this morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate (as prepared for delivery).
“We will continue to create new jobs, including good-paying clean-energy jobs that can never be outsourced.
“We will tackle our daunting energy and climate challenges, and by doing so will strengthen our national security, our environment and our economy.
“And as we do all these things, we will continue to leave a seat at the table for our Republican colleagues. Whether their caucus comprises 40 or 41 members, each composes this body of 100. We should all be united within the walls of this esteemed chamber, not defined by the aisle that divides its desks.
“Today is the first anniversary of the first time Barack Obama addressed our nation as our President. One year ago today — standing on steps just steps from where we now stand — he reflected that our nation had chosen ‘unity of purpose over conflict and discord.’ He asked us to put aside the differences and dogmas that paralyze our politics.
“We can answer that call this year. Not just because President Obama requested it, but because the American people justly demand it…”