Waxman-Markey Green-Lit

The Hill reports that the Waxman-Markey environment/energy bill will be voted on later this week -- a surprising reversal that was probably made possible in part by a generally positive CBO scoring report (net plus for the federal budget; net plus for GDP; small price-hike effect for most Americans), but may also have a lot to do with the stalled healthcare reform process.

Originally, the House intended to deal with the environment bill before healthcare, but then as Waxman-Markey bogged down -- with moderate Democrats reluctant to vote yes on it without some political cover, like perhaps a popular healthcare bill -- the order flipped. With it looking unlikely that the House will get to the healthcare bill before summer recess, I'm guessing Nancy Pelosi wants to reverse the order again, rather than head into summer looking like the House is hopelessly immobile.

Of course, it won't look so great if the bill fails on the floor vote. My guess would be that Pelosi ain't gonna let that happen, and that the CBO has now helped her cause. But it figures to be close, so those of you who care might want to start making your congressional phone calls ASAP.

Passage in the House certainly doesn't ensure it'll become law, but it will put tremendous pressure on the Senate to move on it, probably after the summer recess.

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