Senate Postpones Climate Bill

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has put climate change legislation on hold until Congress returns from its August recess. 

"We’ll do it as soon as we get back" Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told reporters. 

Boxer’s committee has the primary responsibility of crafting climate change legislation. The committee began hearings on the bill Tuesday, and Boxer announced that she intended to finish work on a bill before the month-long recess beginning August 7. Boxer said Thursday that deadline will move to early September.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had set a September 18 deadline for all committees to add to the bill before debate in the full Senate. He has agreed to move that deadline back to September 28, according to reports. 

The Senate bill is expected to parallel the Waxman-Markey bill passed by the House of Representatives at the end of June.

The Obama administration wants the climate bill finished by December when United Nations negotiations for a climate treaty are scheduled to conclude in Copenhagen.

However, Congressional leaders also have ambitious plans to pass a health care reform bill before the end of the year, and doing both is bound to be difficult.

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