Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jersey Republicans key to climate bill passage

Three Republican congressmen from New Jersey helped get the ferociously-lobbied Waxman-Markey climate-change bill through the House of Representatives yesterday on a narrow 219-212 vote.

They were among only eight Republicans in the House who voted for the bill, while 44 Democrats voted opposed it.

The legislation, called 'historic' by President Obama, is Congress’s first attempt to address global warming by curbing greenhouse gases and establishing a cap-and-trade system. It now goes to the Senate where the lobbying is expected to only increase.

The New Jersey Republican votes were extremely valuable since dozens of conservative Democrats--especially those in vulnerable district--had made it clear they would never support cap-and-trade legislation.

The GOP, seizing on 'cap and trade' as a key political issue for 2010 campaign, emptied their rhetorical bag of apocalyptic warnings in testimony against it.

Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) told her colleagues: “We get to choose. We choose liberty, or we choose tyranny — it’s one of the two.” Geoff Davis (R-KY) said the bill represents the “economic colonization of the heartland” by coastal states and Devin Nunes (R-CA) pictured it as the culmination of “the twisted desires of radical environmentalists.”

New Jersey's House delegation--except for Republicans Scott Garrett and Rodney Frelinghuysen--chose to heed the advice of such 'radical environmentalists' as Ralph Izzo, president of the state's largest utility, PSEG.

Izzo said the legislation would "provide business leaders with a level of certainty that will allow them to plan and expand, and it will create jobs that will usher in a new green economy." Wow, now that's radical, no?

New Jersey Republicans Leonard Lance, Chris Smith and Frank LoBiondo joined with Democrats Albio Sires, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne, Rush Holt, Rob Andrews, John Adler, Frank Pallone, and Steve Rothman in casting yes votes.

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