n public, Baucus has kept a laserlike focus on the health care negotiations — honoring the administration’s wishes to put cap and trade on the back burner until Congress completes its work on health care.And by "do for health care" I mean "give the Republicans everything they want, then wonder like an idiot why they refuse to actually take it."
“We’ve got health care. It’s going to take up most of the month. It’s going to be difficult to also do [climate],” he told Environment & Energy Daily this week.
But while Baucus has been the public face of health care negotiations, a dedicated team of his aides has been working on the climate bill. As the Finance Committee chairman and the second-most-senior Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Baucus is in a uniquely powerful position on climate issues.
The Finance Committee is charged with overseeing the flow of money in and out of government, a jurisdiction that Baucus believes gives his committee control over how hundreds of billions of dollars in pollution allocations would be distributed to industry and consumers under 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.
Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who’s working with Boxer to draft the climate and energy bill, says they are still working out the jurisdictional dispute with Baucus.
You'd think after his all-star schmuck performance over the last three months, Harry Reid wouldn't let Max Baucus near a bowl of tapioca pudding much less climate change legislation. But that would mean that Democrats were running the Senate, and that Harry Reid was doing his job.