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Chairman Rangel Puts Rep. Waxman on Notice: ‘We Have to Deal with Health Care First’ – Prefers ‘Carbon Tax’

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Excerpt from E&E News – May 21, 2009 (Subscription required )

“Offering perhaps the biggest road block to a floor debate, Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) told reporters that he plans to put President Obama’s health care reform agenda ahead of Waxman’s global warming bill.

“We have to deal with health care first,” Rangel said. Asked for a time frame on the health care legislation, Rangel replied, “As long as it takes.” Rangel later conceded, “Maybe at some point we can do both at the same time. But health being first is a priority.”

The New York Democrat also said he continues to consider a carbon tax to curb greenhouse gas emissions, rather than the cap-and-trade approach that Waxman has been busy marking up since Monday in H.R. 2454.

Several senior members of Rangel’s committee support an outright carbon tax, while others back a different method for distributing emission allowances compared with Waxman’s bill. Other House Democratic committee leaders are also itching to get at Waxman’s climate legislation. House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and other senior Democrats on his panel have a long list of grievances with the Waxman climate bill, from winning more offsets for farmers to giving the Agriculture Department a greater role in its implementation.

Full article at: E&E News – May 21, 2009 (Subscription: http://www.eenews.net/EEDaily/2009/05/21/2/

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