SUBCOMMITTEE ON PRIVATE SECTOR AND CONSUMER SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL WARMING
AND WILDLIFE PROTECTION BUSINESS MEETING
Mr. Chairman, several Senators on this Committee recently sent you and Chairman Boxer a letter to express our concerns about the lack of process. I am gratified that as a result, the full Committee plans to hold two legislative hearings. But to be blunt, by itself, merely providing back-to-back legislative hearings within weeks of introduction of the bill is not the substantive process this Committee has engaged in for major legislation in past Congresses. It is just checking the process box. Let me remind you what others have said in the past.
*With all due respect to Senator Baucus and his support of S. 2191, in the first full Committee hearing on Clear Skies in February of 2005, he said: “A rush to mark-up, without laying any foundation for a bipartisan compromise to take to the floor, is not a strategy for success.”He emphasized the need for dialogue and compromise, and insisted that “the process needs time to work itself out.”
*Also in February of 2005, Senator Carper also emphasized the importance of dialogue and working with majority and minority staff to enact multi-emissions legislation. To address his concerns, we postponed the vote on Clear Skies until March.
I must ask why those principles of dialogue and working through the provisions of the bill are not at work in this process. Instead, the Committee was given a manager’s amendment – not 72 hours in advance of markup as Committee rules provide for – but yesterday. It contained dozens and dozens of changes, yet no redline version was provided until almost noon yesterday, and we still don’t have a complete summary of the changes made. This does not seem like a good faith attempt to conduct a thorough and collaborative process which is substantive. It seems like a staged process to create a sideshow at Bali at how far we’ve come in the U.S. Senate.