Senate Democrats Put Reconciliation for Cap and Trade National Energy Tax in Budget Language

Senate Democrats have included language in their 2011 budget resolution that would allow Democrats to try to ram through the massive cap and trade tax increase with only 51 votes in the Senate, according to a report in The Hill newspaper today.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), top Republican on the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee told HUMAN EVENTS this morning that votes for the enormous and unpopular new tax are going to be very hard to come by this election year.

“Democratic leaders in Congress are considering using reconciliation to pass global warming cap-and-trade legislation because they know they have no chance of passing the largest tax increase in American history by going through regular order,” Inhofe said.  “This fits well into Harry Reid’s strategy, which he used to pass health care legislation: take an unpopular bill, hide it from public view, cut deals behind closed doors in his office, and then ram it through the Senate.  The problem, however, is that 67 senators, including 26 Democrats, voted last year against using reconciliation to pass global warming legislation.  So all I can say is, ‘Harry, good luck on that.’”

From The Hill report:

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and a number of other Democrats on Tuesday, however, said the fast-track process could be used to move tax cuts, energy legislation and more later this year.

“There are many different areas it could be used,” Cardin said.

When Democrats approved a budget resolution last year, it specified that the rules could be used for healthcare and student loan legislation.

Democrats did just that in March to avoid a Republican filibuster. That has boosted their confidence to use the procedure on other issues, Cardin said.

“We need to have the ability to move forward on underlying important bills by majority vote, and the rules of the Senate permit you to do that [on bills] that reduce the deficit consistent with the budget resolution,” he said.

“It’s a concern … any time my colleagues on the other side of the aisle start eyeing reconciliation,” said [Sen. Judd] Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

Democrats are also including a very broad definition of “jobs” legislation in the budget reconciliation language to create an umbrella under which they can attempt to sidestep the filibuster on a wide range of legislation.

Looking ahead at a substantial loss of seats in November, if not the surrender of their majority outright, Democrats are seeking a means to push through their leftist agenda prior to the elections.

They appear to have dropped all pretense of “consent of the governed.”