Congress Shuts Down Obama Bill

Out of sight, out of mind? While President Obama was in London on Wednesday, Congress roundly rejected his plan to fast-track a bill that would launch a carbon emissions cap-and-trade program. The Senate passed an amendment, 67-31, barring Congress from forcing the cap-and-trade through during the budget “reconciliation” period, when bills need only a majority to pass. The law would set a limit on carbon emissions and provide financial disincentives to increasing pollution. The amendment isn’t binding on a final House-Senate agreement, but senators say it means the window has closed for climate change legislation to be pushed through during the budget reconciliation process. Some say the bill will never pass, now that it’s missed its chance; a gleeful Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote “slammed the door shut” on cap-and-trade law.