GOP Boycotts Climate Bill, Dems Get Bored

Climate hearing boycott ends with whimper
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2009 11:08 AM CST
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer, talks to committee member George Voinovich Tuesday, during the committee's markup on the climate change legislation.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – For a while yesterday, Democrats got to live the dream: a world without Republicans. The GOP made good on its promise to boycott the Senate environment committee’s hearing on its climate change bill, and Democrats had a good time lambasting them in absentia, calling them the party of “no” and comparing them to “a child staying out of school.” When Republican George Voinovich finally did show up, chairman Barbara Boxer cut him off after 12 minutes.

“I've got colleagues that just don't have time,” Boxer said. But without Republicans, the Dems “soon discovered a nefarious side effect of the boycott: boredom,” writes Dana Milbank. Boxer wouldn’t take amendments without Republicans, so even Democrats started leaving. Soon she was telling remaining senators to take their time, “because we don’t have anybody else here.” She kept insisting they’d wait for Republicans, until finally she was left waiting alone in the room. “We’re going to stand in recess,” she told the C-SPAN cameras.