President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scored a major victory with the House's approval of a landmark climate bill — thanks to a little help from a handful of Republicans.
Friday's vote was 219-212. The legislation was supported by 211 Democrats and eight aisle-crossing GOP members: Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.), Michael Castle (Del.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), John McHugh (N.Y.), David Reichert (Wash.) and Christopher Smith (N.J.). Forty-four Democrats voted against the bill, making the eight GOP votes all the more crucial.
“This is the biggest job-killing bill that’s ever been on the floor of the House of Representatives. Right here, this bill,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said after the vote. “And I don’t think that’s what the American people want.”
The 1,200-plus-page bill now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future.
According to The Associated Press, the "cap-and-trade" legislation places the first national limits on emissions of heat-trapping gases from major sources like power plants, refineries and factories. It requires: A 17 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. An 83 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That 20 percent of all electricity in the United States be generated by renewable sources and/or more efficient methods by 2020.
As written, the bill will cost American households an estimated $175 a year by 2020, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Many Republicans refer to the legislation as a "national energy tax."
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