Climate Progress reported that the Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer plans to delay until September the markup of the climate bill that recently passed the House. The change in plans is reportedly due to senators’ current focus on healthcare reform legislation.
Boxer intends to have the bill ready by September 28, with Democrats still hoping to pass it in time for December’s U.N. climate negotiations. Sponsors face a difficult struggle to win over 60 votes, considering opposition from Republicans and conservative to moderate Democrats.
UPDATE: Environmental groups have expressed support for Boxer’s decision:
“We don’t think that this is a problem at all,” said Josh Dorner, spokesman for Sierra Club. “In fact, we think it’s a good thing. It’s a huge organizing opportunity, both here in D.C. and in the field. It also shows they are taking the time to make some meaningful, positive changes to the bill.”
“From our perspective, this is the right decision,” said Tony Kreindler, media director for climate at EDF. “It gives senators more time to review and understand the historic bill just passed by the House. It signals a serious intent to seek agreements on key issues going forward. And it gives Boxer and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle more time to reach those agreements. After all, the chairman has the ability to move forward today if the goal were simply to push any bill through.”