Starting to see a pattern? Moderate and conservative Senate Democrats have told the White House to "give up" on any effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill in 2010. That's the heart of the Obama Administration's climate agenda and the opposition is lead by Sens. Conrad (ND), Landrieu (LA) and Nelson (NE) ... the same three senators who vehemently opposed the public option and Medicare expansion in health care reform and threatened to filibuster.
"I am communicating that in every way I know how," said Sen. Landrieu, one of at least a half-dozen Democrats who've told the White House or their own leaders that it's time to jettison the centerpiece of their party's plan to curb global warming.
The creation of an economywide market for greenhouse gas emissions is the heart of the climate bill that cleared the House earlier this year. But with the health care fight still raging and the economy still hurting, moderate Democrats have little appetite for another sweeping initiative — especially another one likely to pass with little or no Republican support. "We need to deal with the phenomena of global warming, but I think it’s very difficult in the kind of economic circumstances we have right now," said Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, who called passage of any economywide cap and trade "unlikely."
"I’d just as soon see that set aside until we work through the economy," said Sen. Ben Nelson. "What we don’t want to do is have anything get in the way of working to resolve the problems with the economy." "Climate change in an election year has very poor prospects," added Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). "I've told that to the leadership."
The House passed its version of the cap and trade last summer. Republicans have vowed to make that and health care "reform" its primary lines of attack during next year’s elections. As a result, Democrats have reportedly told congressional leadership they want to avoid voting on climate and any other "controversial" legislation before the 2010 elections.
John Aravosis at AMERICAblog adds: "Don't expect the Democrats to touch any controversial legislation for the next three years. That includes DADT, DOMA, ENDA, immigration, climate change or any of their other promises. And yes, they appear to be moving ahead on immigration. Just wait and see what they come up with, during an election year. It's not going to be pretty and it's going to end up just like the health care reform bill. Except this time, the part of the unions and the health care reform groups will be played by the immigration and Latino groups. The WH will lecture them about accepting half a loaf and being too naively idealistic."