Key moderate Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) formally threw his support Thursday behind the compromise climate change bill he negotiated with House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
I intend to vote yes and I intend to urge all other committee members to do the same, Boucher said at a press conference.
Boucher said he still wants changes in the measure to reduce the overall carbon reduction targets, but would work with Waxman and Markey at next weeks markup to protect it from Republican amendments until the legislation gets to the floor.
Boucher said he would prefer a 14 percent carbon emissions reduction by 2020 instead of the 17 percent compromise he struck with Waxman and also wanted a slower phaseout of free allocations given to electric utilities to mitigate any increase in rates for consumers.
But Waxman and Markey exulted at the agreement.
Markey said the deal defies conventional wisdom that was pronouncing this bill dead for weeks and months.
Its a legislative Susan Boyle. Everyone underestimated it until it started to sing, he said.
Waxman said that some negotiations were continuing, including on the issue of oil refineries, and that bill text would be released either late Thursday or Friday.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.