Congressional leaders left a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Thursday with a laundry list of items lined up for action this summer: financial reform, an energy bill, jobs legislation and actions aimed at holding BP accountable for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“I felt that we talked about the things that we needed to talk about,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the meeting.
But while Democrats were eager to talk about plans for advancing energy legislation, one issue they wanted to avoid talking about was cap-and-trade.
Both Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) bristled at a question about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) declaration that the House’s cap-and-trade energy proposal is dead. The House passed a bill that includes the proposal last year, but the issue has stalled in the Senate.
“That’s not the bill that they have in the Senate,” Pelosi told reporters. “They don’t have a cap-and-trade bill. That’s not the bill they have in the Senate.”
She added: “Cap-and-trade was never mentioned. That term was never mentioned” at Thursday’s meeting.
Hoyer sought to clarify that while McConnell has said he is against the energy tax, he has not said he is “opposed to the energy legislation per se.”