The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Democratic divisions stall U.S. cap-and-trade

John Kemp Great DebateProspects for enacting a cap-and-trade program regulating U.S. greenhouse gas emissions later this year have receded following a vote in the Senate exposing deep divisions within the Democratic Party.

On April 1, 26 Democratic senators broke with the majority of their colleagues and both the party's Senate leaders to join all 41 Republicans voting for an amendment to the annual budget resolution forbidding use of the budget reconciliation process to pass climate change legislation involving a cap-and-trade system.

In effect, the amendment ensures approval of a cap-and-trade system will require a minimum of 60 votes rather than a simple majority of 50 in the 100-member chamber. Since Democratic leaders do not currently have anywhere like that number of votes for the measure, and little time to build popular support, it is going nowhere in the near term.

BUDGET RECONCILIATION

Budget reconciliation is a two-stage process intended to expedite passage of important spending and taxing bills the federal government needs each year to maintain its operations:

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