Democrats Breaking Rank on Global Warming
By William Warren
Boldly standing up in direct defiance to the Big Government “Global Warming” zealots of the left, a startling 26 Democratic Senators broke rank on Wednesday and helped defeat a provision that would have hastened the way to costly cap-and-trade climate change legislation.
Such action sends a loud, clear message: there is a growing bipartisan resistance to the much-ballyhooed pseudo-“consensus” on anthropogenic global warming and the necessity of sweeping environmentalist policies to counteract this “dire emergency.”
As reported by The Hill, 41 Republicans and the 26 Democrats voted in favor of a critical budget amendment that will prohibit liberal lawmakers from slipping cap-and-trade legislation “under the radar” through a method known as the “reconciliation process.” Had it not been resoundingly thwarted, the “reconciliation process” would have lowered the number of Senate votes needed to pass the crippling environmentalist legislation from 60 to 51.
The sponsor of the approved amendment to bar this tactic, Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb) spoke of the dire necessity of restrictions such as these:
“And we have now reached the heart of the matter, so let me say it again. The House language is there to dictate how the Senate conducts its business. The House language is a placeholder, a Trojan Horse to limit debate, amendment, transparency, and thoughtful consideration in the Senate on cap-and-trade…
Cap-and-trade is simply too large, too significant, and too costly to pass under the cloak of another bill.”
Clearly, any efforts to impede or altogether squelch the economic havoc that national cap-and-trade policy would wreak on America's families and businesses ought to be celebrated. As Senator Johanns makes clear, any leader willing to resist the earth-over-people agenda has struck a blow not only for fiscal sanity, but for the rule of law as well.
As the senator from Nebraska explains, the cap-and-trade system would bring nothing but higher taxes in nearly every facet of American day-to-day life:
"I'd like to discuss the economic impacts of this cap-and-trade freight-train for a moment. The President's climate proposal could cost an American family an additional three thousand dollars per year, or about 250 dollars per month. Most families will see much of this extra expense show-up in their electricity bill, particularly if the family is from a state where significant amounts of electricity are generated by coal.
That's right, Mr. President, everyone with a light switch will feel the pain of this new policy. The rest of the additional costs could show up in all sorts of bills families struggle to pay…
I could go on and on, but I think I've said enough."
Senator Johanns needs to be reminded that one can never say enough regarding the disastrous impact “Global Warming” legislation will have on the American family and the American business community.
And although the green, eco-friendly “Global Warming” flim-flam underpinning cap-and-trade is a farce in and of itself, Senator Johanns was able to see through all that and expose the even greater threat it portends to the nation's economic wellbeing: The liberal Democrats' ulterior motive behind cap-and-trade legislation is to temporarily slake their ever-expanding thirst for Bigger Government and limitless funding:
“And we know that the Leadership here in the Senate is already planning how it will spend the cap-and-trade [tax] revenues…
…the Senate Majority Leader said just last week that the collection of revenues from cap-and-trade would be very useful for other federal government spending, down to the very last penny.”
As if the spending binge of the last few months hasn't been enough, now Democrats want to tax one of the most abundant gasses on the planet for the purpose of even more spending. The madness in their methodology is about as cockamamie as the so-called “consensus” on man-made climate change. Or Al Gore's “inconvenient” tripe about “Global Warming” causing bigger, more numerous hurricanes—especially ironic considering the last few years have witnessed some of the mildest hurricane seasons in recent memory.
Overall, the 26 Democrats that stood up to the “reconciliation process” as a means to push cap-and-trade deserve the nation's sincere gratitude. Although Senator Johanns admits that much of the Democratic support for his amendment came out of the senators' reservations about altering the debate and voting process itself, their willingness to defy the hard-line faction of their party is a victory nonetheless.
Moreover, the vote also reveals the strong concerns these Democrats have about violating the legislative process and burdening American families with countless outrageous carbon taxes and fees all in the name of “Global Warming.”
By and large, it's reassuring to know that there are still those who refuse to put their ill-conceived environmentalist agenda ahead of the wellbeing of American people. And, of course, it is no coincidence that many of the Democrats who stood up to the Hard Left come from coal-producing states.
The Democrats who broke rank by supporting Senator Johanns and his amendment were: Max Baucus (Mont.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Russ Feingold (Wis.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Jim Webb (Va.).
These Democratic senators ought to be applauded for standing up for the American people instead throwing down for the radical green agenda of their party.
William Warren is a Contributing Editor of ALG News Bureau.