Se­nate leader says no vote on cli­mate bill this sum­mer

Austin American-Statesman - - FRIDAY BRIEFING -

WASHINGTON — Bow­ing to a lack of sup­port, Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thurs­day there would be no vote this sum­mer on a bill that would put the nation’s first lim­its on the car­bon pol­lu­tion blamed for global warm­ing.

The de­ci­sion could doom the mea­sure’s long-term chances as well.

If Democrats lose their nar­row ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate in the Novem­ber elec­tions, they would have to re­lin­quish the lead­er­ship power that would al­low them to bring it up for a vote next year. Many — but not all — Se­nate Democrats sup­port it, but not a sin­gle Repub­li­can has agreed to vote for it. A sim­i­lar mea­sure squeaked through the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives last year.

In­stead of a broad en­ergy and cli­mate bill, Reid said there will be a vote be­fore the Se­nate takes its Au­gust re­cess on leg­is­la­tion to in­crease li­a­bil­ity on com­pa­nies for oil spills, boost con­ver­sion of trucks from diesel to nat­u­ral gas and cre­ate a pro­gram that would give home own­ers a price break on up­grades to save en­ergy.

Reid said it was still pos­si­ble there would be a fall vote on a cli­mate bill. But he’d still face an up­hill fight to get the 60 votes needed be­fore the up­com­ing elec­tion.

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