Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who heads the Environment and Public Works Committee, insisted Tuesday that her panel will introduce sweeping energy reform legislation by the end of the month. The bill will be introduced this month, and were going to be marking it up shortly thereafter, Boxer said. The Californian, who has been working alongside Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) on the bill, tossed aside suggestions that the Senates overwhelming focus on health care reform will curtail its ability to also tackle energy policy this year. Boxer and Kerry were originally slated to introduce a bill this week, but the Aug. 25 death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), coupled with Kerrys hip surgery in August, contributed to the delay. Kerry is also a member of the Finance Committee, which is expected to take up a massive health care bill in the coming weeks. Six Senate committees have jurisdiction over climate change: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Energy and Natural Resources; Environment and Public Works; Finance; and Foreign Affairs. Boxer maintained Tuesday that jurisdictional issues over which committee is responsible for certain portions of the energy bill will not be an issue. I think all the committees will do their work. Well do our bill, the others will do their bill and the [Majority] Leader will marry it, she said.
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.