8 GOP Votes Paved Way for Climate Bill

Sunday, 28 Jun 2009 01:04 PM

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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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