The House Passes the Energy and Climate Change Bill

Reader Contribution by Ramsey Cox

On Friday evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed the energy and climate change bill, which mandates the reduction of greenhouse gases and create green jobs.

The vote was 219-212; the bill needed 218 to pass. This vote sent Democrats into recess with a high-profile win. The vote was politically tough for some Democrats, 44 voted against the bill. Only eight Republicans voted for the bill.

The principal sponsors of the bill, Democratic Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts compromised with Democrats in rural states that rely on coal for energy, weakening the requirements of newer green energy technology.

The bill is still considered an environmental success and had the support of the majority of the public. An ABC/Washington Post survey this week showed that 56 percent of Americans supported action to reduce carbon emissions, even if it raised energy bills by $10 a month, which is an estimate of how much the passage of the bill will cost consumers.

National Journal created an interactive map to show readers how Representatives voted.

Shortly after the Fourth of July recess the Senate will take up the House version of the bill. It is unclear if the bill will pass in the Senate. The Democrats have 59 Senate seats and would need 60 votes to beat a Republican filibuster, but it is unlikely that all 59 Democrats will vote for the bill.