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‘Obama did not give Congress specific deadline for climate bill — marked contrast with efforts to move health care legislation’

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E&E News (6/10) reports, “The House Ways and Means Committee appears headed toward fast-track approval of the global warming and energy bill so as not to lose momentum on President Obama’s call to enact a health care reform law by the fall.

Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) told reporters that lawmakers also raised their work on the climate change bill with Obama, but only in the context of how it was diverting their attention from the health care debate.

“It was pointed out by a couple members how difficult it was in such a short period of time to concentrate on climate and health,” Rangel told reporters. “I emphasized that I always considered health a priority and that we weren’t going to allow anything to kill that if it meant we did not have the time to amicably work our will on energy.”

Rangel said Obama did not give the lawmakers a specific deadline for sending him a climate bill — a marked contrast with efforts to move health care legislation. The Ways and Means Committee does face a June 19 deadline from House Democratic leaders to produce any legislative changes on climate change — with a small amount of wiggle room.

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