Boxer Botches Management; Senators Look For New Approach
November 16, 2009

SACRAMENTO – Deputy Campaign Manager for Communications Julie Soderlund issued the following statement in response to recent media reports of Barbara Boxer’s disastrous management of her controversial “cap and trade” legislation:

“Barbara Boxer’s genius for bitter partisanship and ineffective leadership has been on full display when it comes to this legislation. As unemployment reached its highest level in decades, Boxer has continued to try to force major job-killing legislation quickly through the Senate. In the process, her mismanagement of the legislation has already turned off colleagues on both sides of the aisle and poisoned the legislative process. This is exactly the kind of ineffective leadership that has become the hallmark of Boxer’s nearly 18 years in the Senate.”

Sen. Boxer has pressed ahead with major legislation forcing moderate Democrats and Republicans to work up a “Plan B” alternative.

Democrats Move Away From Boxer Bill, Look For “Plan B.” “While Sen. Barbara Boxer was celebrating her committee’s passage of a sweeping climate change bill Thursday, other Democrats and Republicans were already looking for a Plan B.” Politico [1], November 6, 2009

Key Moderate Senators “Are Going To Plan B.” “Moderates from both parties are now looking to Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to negotiate a bipartisan compromise. ‘The question is what comes next,’ said Murkowski. ‘Sens. Graham, Kerry and Lieberman are going to Plan B.’” Politico [2], November 10, 2009

“Rank-And-File Members From Both Parties Dismissed The Boxer Bill…” “Rank-and-file members from both parties dismissed the Boxer bill, coal-state senators were unhappy and many said Boxer’s move to approve the bill without any Republicans even in the committee room had poisoned the process. ‘It dooms that particular legislation. The question is what comes next,’ said Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. ‘We will see what Plan B is.’” Politico [1], November 6, 2009

Sen. Baucus Balks At Boxer Bill, Calls For Scaled-Back Version “That Might Win More Bipartisan Support.” “Divisions among Democrats were on display Thursday in a Senate committee vote approving a climate-change bill. Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) voted against his own party’s climate-change bill, calling for a scaled-back measure that might win more bipartisan support.” The Wall Street Journal [3], November 6, 2009

Sen. Webb Announced He Will Not Support “Troubled” Boxer Bill On Climate Change. “Virginia Democratic Sen. Jim Webb said on Monday he would not back the cap-and-trade legislation sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer, (D-Calif.), another blow to the troubled Senate climate change bill. ‘In its present form I would not vote for it,’ he said. ‘I have some real questions about the real complexities on cap and trade.’” Politico [4], November 16, 2009

The Boxer Bill “Has Floundered Since Passing The House In Late June.” “Webb is the latest in a series of Democratic moderates to raise significant concerns with the climate bill, which has floundered since passing the House in late June.” Politico [4], November 16, 2009

Sens. Webb And Alexander Have Announced They Do No Support The Boxer Bill. “Webb and Alexander said that, at this point, they do not support the broad cap-and-trade proposals being pushed by House Democrats or Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).” Roll Call [5], November 16, 2009

Earlier this year, Sen. Boxer used an obscure Senate loophole to quash amendments and force her cap-and-trade bill through the committee process angering colleagues and threatening the viability of her legislation.

Boxer Uses Loophole To Quash Amendments And Force Bill Through; Senate Insiders Say Move Will “Undercut Any Bipartisan Progress That Could Have Been Made.” “Boxer relied on a little-used loophole in committee rules to force the bill through without any Republicans present. The maneuver prohibited both parties from amending the legislation, a step some Democratic aides say undercut any bipartisan progress that could have been made.” Politico [1], November 6, 2009

Boxer Uses Obscure Rules Exception To Cut Off Debate Or Changes To Her Controversial Legislation. “Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, the committee’s chairwoman and co-sponsor of the bill, employed a rarely used exception to customary committee rules to muscle the 959-page measure through her panel. She conducted three days of hearings last week on the bill, known as S. 1733, but there was no debate on the complex measure, nor any chance for panel members to offer amendments.” The New York Times [6], November 5, 2009

Boxer’s Stunt “Has Left Clearly A Very Bitter Taste In Many Members’ Mouths.” “Several moderate Republicans, including Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, rallied to the side of the EPW Committee’s minority this week and urged Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) not to hold a vote on the bill without first getting more EPA data. ‘I think it has left clearly a very bitter taste in many members’ mouths about how we’re part of a process on a very important issue,’ Murkowski, the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said yesterday. ‘This may stall things out for a period of time.’” The New York Times [7], November 6, 2009