WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement tonight on the announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to fill the amendment tree and file cloture on the Climate Tax Bill.
“I am disturbed that the Majority Leader has filled the amendment tree and filed cloture on the Climate Tax Bill,” Senator Inhofe said. “This is the largest bill we will consider this Congress and probably the largest non-appropriations bill the Senate has ever considered. This bill deserves a full and honest debate, with amendments offered and voted upon.
“It is disingenuous to say that the amendment tree is being filled because of the Minority Leader’s actions today regarding judicial nominations. Rather, it is being filled because the Democrats do not want to debate and vote on our amendments that are aimed at protecting American families and workers from the devastating economic impacts of this bill. The last time the minority had to resort to floor tactics to make our point on judicial nominations was last April, when the Senate last considered an Environment and Public Works Committee bill, the Highway Technical Corrections bill. The nominations issue was worked out for the time being and we continued work on the bill and completed it. This bill is certainly far more important than the Highway Technical Corrections bill, and the nominations dispute did not disrupt that bill from being considered.
“The Majority brought this Climate Tax Bill to the floor, and if they are serious about the issue, they will allow an open debate on amendments. If they don’t, then it is obvious that this was just a political exercise and not a real attempt to legislate. The Majority Leader and Senator Boxer have both said this issue is too important to wait and that the Senate needs to act now. Well, let us act. Let us offer, debate, and vote on amendments.