Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told colleagues Tuesday that her panel will begin marking up climate change legislation on July 27, according to sources familiar with the discussion. According to a Senate source, attendees at Tuesdays meeting included Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Democratic Pennsylvania Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey. The panels minority staff had not been notified of any decision to move forward on the climate change bill as of Wednesday afternoon. A spokesman for the committee said there were no Republicans present at Tuesdays meeting. The Golden State Senator holds a weekly meeting on Tuesdays to discuss climate change and environmental issues. Boxer is expected to use pending House climate change legislation as a starting point for her markup, sources confirmed. The House on Friday is expected to vote on a cap-and-trade bill that will set pollution levels and create a private marketplace for the sale of offsets. The vote is a result of a recent deal struck by Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), which would put the new commodity under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and not the Environmental Protection Agency. Sources also confirmed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set a Sept. 18 deadline for other committees with jurisdiction over climate change legislation to submit their proposals. Other Senate committees that could weigh in on the bill include Finance; Energy and Natural Resources; Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.