McCaskill: Climate Bill Hinges on Financial Regulatory Reform
The Hill reports on the battle brewing between liberal and conservative Democrats over whether to move forward with a clean energy bill that does not address carbon emissions or to roll some of that bill’s provisions into a larger energy and climate bill. Ultimately, that question could be answered by a very different debate: the one over financial regulatory reform.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said that if Republicans take a unified partisan stance against Wall Street reform, which Democrats had thought would be a slam dunk, it may not make sense to spend weeks trying to muster 60 votes for a controversial climate change proposal.
“If Republicans continue to play pure politics with financial reform, they would probably come close to shutting it down,” McCaskill said of the impact of Republican opposition on bipartisan talks on climate change.
“That’s a bad sign of how productive we’ll be,” she said.
Regardless of the outcome of financial reform, a climate bill could be a tough political proposition in advance of November’s midterm elections. If financial reform succeeds and wins popular support, Democrats would likely prefer to ride that wave into the midterms than to tackle divisive climate legislation. And if a Wall Street bill falls prey to nasty partisan bickering, then as McCaskill says, it’ll be tougher to get the necessary Republican support to beat back a climate bill filibuster.
But if all that’s the climate bill’s Scylla, its Charybdis is the inevitability that the Democratic majorities in Congress will be much smaller come January than they are currently, so for comprehensive climate legislation, it’s likely now or never.