"The cap and trade bill is really the worst piece of legislation I've seen since I've been there," Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) told the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce. "It raises energy prices on businesses, raises electric bills on families, and it even raises gasoline prices in the middle of a recession. And, it makes America less competitive in the global economy."
Boren was one of 44 House Democrats to vote against the American Clean Energy and Security Act, crafted by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), in a razor-thin vote last month.
Now, Boren's vote is being courted in a bid to pass a preliminary healthcare reform package in the House. Some centrist Democrats have defected from party leadership in committee votes on the healthcare legislation, citing concerns over provisions that would impose a surtax on wealthy Americans and would create a public (or "government-run") insurance option for consumers.
Boren signaled that it may be tough for Democratic leaders to count on his vote for the health bill, their other signature piece of legislation aside the climate change bill.
"We have to be very careful," he said, as reported by the Oklahoman. "The current health insurance plan that's been released, in my opinion, will only exacerbate the problem."