By Mike Soraghan - 06/24/09 12:05 PM EDT
"I think they will be able to get the votes to pass the bill," House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said during a conference call, one day after he announced striking a deal with House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to resolve concerns raised by farm-state Democrats.
The Republican's point man on climate, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), said the deal vastly increases the chance that the bill will pass.
"Getting Peterson is a huge plus for them," Barton, the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said in an appearance at the National Press Club. "It gives them a chance to pass it. But it doesn't guarantee it."
Peterson cautioned that the deal he struck with Waxman wouldn't necessarily win the votes of all the members on his committee.
"I told the Speaker that even if you fix agriculture, it won't get everybody on the committee," Peterson said.
He said that "four or five" members have concerns with a different question, the definition of biomass in the bill. And he said some of his committee members have problems with the bill that aren't related to agriculture.