Last week, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on S.3335, a measure which among other things would extend the production tax credits for solar and wind energy, plug the Highway Trust Fund deficit, and keep the Alternative Minimum Tax at bay for elements of the lower-upper-middle-classes for another year. The vote was 51-43, with a few mostly endangered Republicans joining the Democrats, and Harry Reid voting Nay for procedural reasons — so the bill does have at least majority support.
In fact, since the elements of the package are broadly popular if not useful, this bizarrely enough seems to be an effort of the Republicans to be against a package of tax cuts before they’re for it. (More Republicans than Norm Coleman and Gordon Smith would be hard pressed to vote Nay in a final vote, methinks.) Whether this represents Pyrrhic support for the Bush administration’s idiotic plan to raid transit funds for the highways, or an effort to get the Democrats to accept oil drilling to get essential legislation passed, is unclear from the reporting I’ve seen.
I’d seen Tom Ridge on TV yesterday claiming that it’s the Republicans with a comprehensive energy plan, whereas Obama is supposedly opposed to the zero nuclear plants currently under construction. In fact, not only are the Republicans working to effectively throw a spanner in the works of the rapidly expanding renewables industry — providing generating capacity with no sensitivity to fossil fuel prices in multi-gigawatt quantities now. In fact, it may be down the page but McCain supports the tax credits his caucus is opposing.
It makes me wish I were rich enough to get on the air with an ad on this flip-flopping and obstructionism by the Grumpy Old Party.