House Passes Major Climate Change Bill

Dems OK legislation by 7 votes after days of intense talks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 26, 2009 6:30 PM CDT
President Barack Obama gestures during his joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, not shown, Friday, June 26, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.    (Ron Edmonds)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – In a triumph for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed sweeping legislation today calling for the nation's first-ever limits on pollution linked to global warming. The bill also aims to usher in a new era of cleaner, yet more costly energy. The vote was 219-212, capping months of negotiations and days of intense bargaining among Democrats.

Republicans were overwhelmingly against the measure, saying it would cost jobs in the midst of a recession. The legislation would require the US to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 and by about 80% by mid-century. But the government would not sell pollution permits and raise more than $600 billion over a decade as the administration had proposed.