Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and other Democratic members of the Environment and Public Works Committee reported S. 1733, the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill, out of committee to the Senate floor without any Republican members of the committee participating. Republican members of the committee did not attend the markup that began Tuesday because they requested an EPA analysis of the bill before the committee vote. Senator Boxer sidestepped the Republican boycott by using the highly unusual procedure of passing the bill by a majority vote of Democrat committee members. By using this procedure, no amendments to the bill could be considered. The vote to report was 10-1, with Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) the lone dissenter. Senator Thomas Carper (D-Del.) did not vote. Several other committees have jurisdiction over the bill, including the Senate Agriculture Committee. The bill will likely undergo substantial change before being reported to the floor by these committees. In response to the request of Republican members, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has promised a full EPA analysis of the Senate bill prior to a floor vote. The partisan moves though could undermine support from moderate Senators should the bill reach the Senate floor.
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