June 25th, 2009
05:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Democrats turn up heat on climate bill

Nancy Pelosi is leading a lobbying effort in the House of Representatives to garner the 218 votes necessary to pass key environmental legislation.
Nancy Pelosi is leading a lobbying effort in the House of Representatives to garner the 218 votes necessary to pass key environmental legislation.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democratic leaders are turning up the heat in their efforts to pass a bill aimed at curbing global warming, even enlisting former Vice President Al Gore in the lobbying efforts and getting a public show of support from President Barack Obama at the White House.

Democrats admit that they are shy of the 218 votes needed to pass the climate-change bill scheduled for a vote on Friday, and have furiously been lobbying fence-sitting members.

Gore was scheduled to visit the Capitol on Thursday to personally lobby in favor of the bill, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office called his office Wednesday night to cancel.

"It's a question of what was energy-efficient for the vice president," Pelosi said of the decision to keep Gore in Tennessee. "We were narrowing the list of the undecided and thought that perhaps on another occasion we could call upon his time to come here."

While Gore is not in Washington, his spokeswoman says he is still working the phones and contacting uncertain lawmakers to make the case for passing the Clean Energy and Security Act, which would require a 17 percent emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2020 and create a "cap-and-trade" system where manufacturers would buy and sell pollution credits.

Pelosi and her leadership team have been entrenched in the lobbying efforts, holding private meetings with moderate Republicans and pigeonholing wavering Democrats on the floor of the House of Representatives in efforts to gain more support for the bill. Democratic aides predict that five to 10 Republicans may end up voting for the legislation.

One Republican that Democrats are hopeful will support the bill is Rep. Mary Bono-Mack, R-California, who voted in favor of the bill when it was in committee, but now has some reservations because of major changes made to the bill in an effort to gain support from conservative Democrats. Bono-Mack remains undecided on how she'll vote but cites the bill's support for the type of burgeoning solar and wind powered industries in her Palm Springs-based district as reasons for her original support.

A spokeswoman for Bono-Mack said the congresswoman is still undecided on district "a leader in research and development of alternative energy."

Despite the possibility that a handful of Republicans will vote for the climate change bill, party leaders continue to pound their message that a new set of environmental regulations will overtax Americans and eliminate jobs.

"We are going to shift jobs overseas. It's what's fundamentally wrong with this," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "It's not just about higher cost. This really is about shipping millions of American jobs overseas."

A recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the annual economy-wide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion - or about $175 per household.

Democratic leaders say they hope ongoing negotiations with undecided lawmakers will help persuade them to support the bill when it eventually comes to a vote.

Rep. Diana DiGette, D-Colorado, who counts votes as the House Democrats' chief deputy whip, told reporters that the lobbying effort is still underway and that the bill's ultimate fate remains unclear.

"I'm not confident about anything. But we're closing in on it," she said.


Filed under: Al Gore • Nancy Pelosi • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. gt

    the farce of the century,,,, you think times are bad now,,, wait till this job killer becomes law.... americans will love the days we had before pelosi....no jobs .... no money.... no votes... no..power.... wake up dems or were in deep trouble....

    June 25, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    Lets see....Money...or the Earth.
    Ok you've got money on one hand...and uhhh the earth in the other.
    Hmmmm, I can't decide which I need more.
    Money or THE EARTH!?!

    June 25, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Global warming is only one of the reasons we need to reduce wasteful ways and out rageous oil consumption. The neanderthals who oppose our country becoming more energy effeciant are a selfish and lazy herd that refuse to acknowledge the obvious. All they care about is themslves and their simple minded opinions. In the long run we will be healthier and happier when we clean up our act. Plus it will put more money in our pocket!

    June 25, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. makesUwonder

    Al Gore............the guy that is making millions off this global warming money getter. Al Gore...................the guy that travels the world in his carbon footprint private jet.............Al Gore that has a huge house that cost a tidy sum to heat and cool...............Al Gore and folks like Nancy Pelosi are really playing some of you folks for suckers.................have I missed it, or have they said nothing regarding over population, the real threat to the world.

    June 25, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. gl, Pittsburgh

    Democrats admit that they are shy of the 218 votes needed to pass the climate-change bill scheduled for a vote on Friday, and have furiously been lobbying fence-sitting members.

    This is why nothing get done in Washington. All these 218 fools do not believe in Climte-change becasue they are too old and live in the darkages. How about all you darkage old fools just move out the way if you are not going to be the solution.

    June 25, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. matt

    Vote NO on the Cap-and-Tax bill!

    It's widely known that every American will pay more in energy costs if this bill passes. While the amounts range, SniffIt cites a letter from scientists to Boehrner stating that on average, costs will go up $340 per family, annually. While that may not be that much of an increase, it is huge when you include the fact that many families have trouble paying their energy bills now.

    Vote NO to higher energy bills. Vote NO on higher fuel prices.

    Vote NO on Cap-and-Trade.

    June 25, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. Cassandra Washington

    These fools should be "turning up the heat" for JOBS!

    June 25, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. DL

    -Despite the possibility that a handful of Republicans will vote for the climate change bill, party leaders continue to pound their message that a new set of environmental regulations will overtax Americans and eliminate jobs.

    I guess the GOP alternative of do nothing and let it kill us all down the road is much more cost efficient.

    June 25, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Peter

    Climate change is an issue, but because everyone hates Pelosi they won't do what she says, and she is continuously complaining about Bush. I didn't like him either, but let's focus on the present?

    Get rid of Pelosi in 2010!

    June 25, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. RR

    I know people losing there jobs because their companies are already locating overseas just because of all of these reckless, thoughtless policies. TIME FOR TERM LIMITS!

    June 25, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    They the democrats have over reached as expected. Bye, bye donkeys.

    June 25, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |