WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Senate overwhelmingly voted Wednesday not to use a fast-track budget procedure to pass President Obama’s “cap and trade” plan to combat global warming.
The vote was a victory for Republicans, who vehemently oppose using the special rules to pass any of Obama’s policy initiatives because the method doesn’t allow for filibusters. But it does not mean the rules – known as budget “reconciliation” – won’t be used to pass the president’s sweeping health care plan, as several senior Democrats have suggested in recent days is likely to happen.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell praised the Senate for having “slammed the door on using the fast-track process to jam through a new national energy tax” that Republicans say will cost families $3000 a year in higher energy costs.
The 26 Democrats who voted against using the special rules are mostly fiscal conservatives or are from states whose economies rely on energy production and might be negatively impacted by the expensive global warming policy.
All Republicans voted for the amendment that GOP Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska offered to the 2010 budget bill.