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In Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse's most awesome Rec List diary, we learn that GOP members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee are boycotting the group's markup meeting. Because at least two GOP members are needed for the markup to proceed, they are preventing progress by simply not showing up.

Childish? Oh, yeah.

Immature? You bet.

Effective? Well...seems Senator Boxer has called their bluff.

Boxer told reporters late Monday she wants to try to accommodate the Republicans, but insisted she will push ahead with plans to begin voting on amendments to the bill...Boxer said Tuesday would be limited to senators' remarks, and said she will make officials from the EPA available so Republicans can quiz them about their cost study.

But it turns out that the Sierra Club has uncovered other reasons for the GOP's actions besides simply trying to slam the door on moving toward a more meaningufl clean energy economy in the USA and doing our part to halt the spewing of greenhouse gases that contribute to human-made global climate change.

Here they are, the Top Ten Excuses for not showing up for work on the Clean Energy Jobs bill:

  1. They are hiding in the attic with balloon boy
  1. They are allergic to wind
  1. They had to prep for a conference denying climate science
  1. They got lost hiking the Appalachian Trail
  1. They were swimming, Scrooge McDuck-style, through swimming pools filled with money from Big Oil and Coal
  1. They had choir practice for the Chorus of No’s
  1. Rush told them not to go
  1. They had to hold up some more judicial nominees
  1. They actually oppose a Clean Energy Jobs bill that would put America back in charge of its economic and energy future
  1. They had a pre-existing condition

All snark aside, this obstructionist tactic takes the Party of No, the GNO!P, to new lows. With this move, they can no longer claim to be trying to be part of the process. They can no longer claim they are being shut out of Democratic efforts to move forward on progressive issues.

As the New York Times reports this morning, the GOP members of the Environoment and Public Works committee missed ignored a deadline yesterday to put forth amendments to the bill. Senator Boxer has extended the deadline until 5 p.m. today but, based on their past history, it's unlikely they will engage.

Boxer still plans to begin the markup at 9 a.m. with opening statements. But she agreed to suspend the markup at 2 p.m. for an open-door meeting with U.S. EPA officials to answer committee members' questions about the economic modeling of the legislation, she noted in a letter (pdf) late yesterday.

EPW Republicans, who ignored yesterday deadline for filing amendments, also now have until 5 p.m. today to submit any suggested changes to the bill.

"We think this is going the extra mile for our friends on the other side, and we really hope they'll return to the table," Boxer told reporters. "They have every reason to do that."

Boxer added that she still retained the right to advance the 959-page bill without Republicans, though she would not say how long she would wait before ending the markup. "I never put a finishing date on any markup," Boxer said. "I never have."

She added, "I will tell you this, we're going to be very, very patient."

She's being quite magnanimous, in my opinion, particularly calling these obstructionist hacks "friends". Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) put it more bluntly:

"Their behavior challenges everything that we're about here," Lautenberg said. "If you don't like it, turn your back and walk out. It's almost like school children over there."

My, my, Senator. Shades of Alan Grayson much? Could our Democratic Senators be signing on to the Members of Congress with Guts bandwagon?

We can only hope so.

Meanwhile, it appears that we're also fighting some of Democrats on climate change legislative goals as well. While most environmental groups are pushing for a requirement to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020, my own Senator, Debbie Stabenow, appears to be backing away from that number. Reported in Environment & Energy Daily (subscription required):

"Other Senate moderates are also in Baucus' camp. "Certainly it depends on how it's all put together, but the president was talking about a lower number," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), referring to President Obama's campaign pledge last year to curb emissions in 2020 by 14 percent. "I think we should look at a lower number."

While I've never viewed Stabenow as a "Blue Dog", this is the kind of backpedalling that could easily earn her that title.

I guess this means more phonebanking for Clean Water Action and Repower America for me and my Michigan friends.

Maybe you too?

I'm just sayin'...

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Tue Nov 03, 2009 at 06:09 AM PST.

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