On July 26, 2010 Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska introduced legislation that, if passed, would prevent cap-and-trade (or as it is commonly called "cap-and-tax") from being stealthly slipped into law without any or little debate on the Senate floor.
One of Congress' past tried and true methods of getting unpopular legislation passed has been to wait until after the fall's elections so there is less accountability to the voting public for some Senators. This allows retiring Senators and those who will be required to give up their seat to the newly elected in January to vote a Yay for legislation they would normally oppose simply because they are unscrupulous and are no longer concerned about getting reelected.
Senator Johann's legislation would place a real road-block that would prevent these kinds of lame duck strategies that have proven so successful in the past. The law would require 67 Senators, which is a full two-thirds of the Senate, to vote straight up or down in order to either allow cap-and-trade to become law or be defeated after the necesary full Senatorial floor debate.
I applaud the Senator from Nebraska for his putting the American people above party politics and for sticking to the Constitutional mandate that indicates bills should only become law after a full debate on the issue so that all sides can be heard before a vote is taken. This is appropriate in all cases, but especially with this particular piece of legistation that would so dramatically increase energy taxes on all levels and affect the pocket-book's of so many hard-working Americans in lower and middle income brackets.
Many in this country believe that the impact of this cap-and-trade bill on this nation's already troubling economy would be devastating in the least and horrific at worst. With this much controversy surrounding this law it is only fitting that the Senate not be allowed to play politics-as-usual and be forced into a real debate, even if it means nothing might be accomplished until January 2011 after the new full Senate returns to Washington D.C.
I congratulate Senator Johanns for his forward thinking by putting this country's farmers and workers before partisan politics.