This is from someone I know who had a conversation with Maryland Congressman Paul Sarbanes at an last night.
1. Leadership (I think Pelosi and/or Waxman) called a ‘whip” meeting for 5:30 pm tonight to talk about getting the bill passed on the floor. Sarbanes is going to that meeting.
2. He said it is a 50/50 chance that the Ag committee will even get to mark up the bill. Peterson is trying to cut a deal and if he succeeds then the committee will just vote once without any amendments.
3. The other interesting thing he said is that folks are doing political calculations about passing health care before climate change. There is a chance that the house won’t have time for both issues before July recess and he said the feeling is that voters would be most upset if health care doesn’t pass.
I take away a few things from this. #1 isn’t surprising, but it’s nice to know they’re looking at that right now. #2 has already been reported, but a fear I have is whatever deal Peterson cuts to avoid needing a mark-up by the Agriculture committee will be a package of mark-up amendments the committee would’ve had to vote on anyways, and they won’t be making the bill stronger. For a background on Peterson and the Ag committee issue, see here. #3 I’ve been hearing back and forth about for a few weeks now, and it looks like they’re leaning once again back towards doing health care first. My sense is that House Leadership, especially Pelosi, wants to do the climate bill first, but that more members of Congress want to do healthcare first, and they’re fighting over that. I think it’s important people who want to see a climate bill passed ASAP(and preferably before Copenhagen in December), let their representative know that they should do the climate bill first, and health care after. At the least, we don’t want the climate bill stalled while there’s a bloody battle over healthcare. Everyone would be worn out from the fighting by the time they finished health care!
Other non-insider thing people should know is this conference call tomorrow(which will probably report on the meeting tonight)…
Join us this Wednesday June 10th at 4:30pm ET for a national conference call with Chairmen Waxman and Markey on the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
We are honored to welcome Representative Henry Waxman, the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Representative Ed Markey, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, to brief us on the ACES bill at this important national conference call co-sponsored by 1Sky, Energy Action Coalition, Green for All and the US Climate Action Network.
To submit proposed questions for responses on the call by House Committee staffers following the briefing, please send your questions now to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us on Wednesday June 10th at 4:30 pm ET for the call:
Campaign Director, 1Sky