The United States Of Montana
by Josh Orton, Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 08:47:08 AM EDT
For liberal Democrats unhappy with the way Max Baucus is handling health care reform, here's another dose of bad news: He's got his hands on climate and energy, too.
Behind closed doors, Sen. Baucus has been staking his claim on major aspects of the climate bill, including financing for a cap-and-trade system.
That turf puts Baucus in direct conflict with Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, who believes her committee has control over cap-and-trade allocations. Boxer would fold the provisions into her broader climate and energy bill, which would establish caps on greenhouse gas emissions for the next several decades, according to Senate Democratic aides.
Delegating authority to committee chairmen is part of the Senate process, but Democratic leadership should be wary of handing off additional authority to Baucus on big chunks of the progressive agenda - his style and politics aren't helping.