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Hoyer Confident Democrats Are Close Enough’ on Climate Change

Updated 2:17 p.m.House Democrats are “close enough— to an agreement on climate change legislation to bring the measure to the floor Friday, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).“I am hopeful agreement will be reached today, finally,” Hoyer said.During a Tuesday press briefing, Hoyer said he spoke to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “four or fives times last night— as negotiations on the climate bill advanced. Pelosi was also talking to Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) throughout the day, while Hoyer talked to Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).“We all were confident enough that we’re close enough to resolving some of the differences — the Agriculture Committee and Mr. Peterson’s concerns — to announce that we were going to move forward,— Hoyer said.Hoyer declined to say what sticking points remain on the bill, although he said most of Peterson’s “five, six, seven issues that were major issues … are done.— He said to expect Waxman to offer amendments to his bill that address Peterson’s concerns, most of which stem from his opposition to blending climate change and energy issues.Hoyer brushed off the idea that the bill would not have the votes to pass without Peterson’s support. He acknowledged that Peterson represents a broader group of stakeholders, namely farmers and moderate Democrats with similar concerns.“We really do want to have a bill that at least has consensus on our side,— Hoyer said.In terms of progress on health care reform, the other major issue before Congress, Hoyer said to expect hearings in all three House committees of jurisdiction this week. That bill is still on track to be reported to the House floor before the August recess, he said.“It’s not a deadline, but it’s our intent,— Hoyer said.

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