House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to her committee chairmen: move climate change legislation by June 19 or risk losing jurisdiction over the bill.
By imposing the deadline, Pelosi (D-Calif.) is asserting her authority over Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), among others, in an effort to unhinge her signature issue, which has been mired in intra-party politics.
The bill was approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee before the Memorial Day recess and was initially intended for a subsequent floor vote. But Rangel and Peterson objected, and Peterson even threatened to take down the bill if his committee didn’t have a chance to mark it up or have provisions in it significantly altered.
With the low poll numbers that climate change gets, Pelosi must be realizing that it is now or never for a passing of such a bill. The number of people that believe in man-made global warming continues to decline. When asked about issues that mean the most to them, voters consistently rank climate change dead last. Most people just don't care about it. If she hesitates any longer, there may be no way to get people to buy into passing climate change legislation anymore.