Baucus Gets Hands on Climate Legislation

By Beacon Staff

<a href="http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/both_baucus_and_boxer_stake_claim_to_cap-and-trade_bill/12305/" title="The New York Times mentioned this last month”>The New York Times mentioned this last month, and now POLITICO is weighing on what may become a turf war over who heads up the Democrats’ next major piece of legislation: a bill to address climate change. <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27016.html" title="From POLITICO“>From POLITICO:

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.

His power play could put Baucus at the helm of the Obama administration’s domestic agenda, giving an unpredictable Montana Democrat control over legislative proposals that could define the Democratic Party for years to come.

“He’s swung from liberal to conservative,” said Montana pollster Craig Wilson, noting Baucus’s support of the 2001 Bush tax cuts and the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. “He’s been a bit of an unpredictable vote for the Democrats.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that even after the bitter debate over health care reform has faded, Baucus’ visible role as one of the most influential politicians in America isn’t about to.

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