Boehner doubts climate bill will pass

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) doubts that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democrats will pass their climate change bill this week.

"I don't know whether it's going to come up or not ... [but] I don't think they have the votes," Boehner said Thursday.

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Boehner declined to predict how many Republicans would vote for the bill, but voiced confidence that most Republicans would oppose it. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), who voted for the bill in committee, is the only Republican who has voiced public support for the measure.

Democratic leaders are working hard to deliver support for the bill, though there are signs that many centrist Democrats will vote against the bill. Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.) gave a thumbs-down sign when asked whether he was going to vote with his party. He is a conservative Democrat in a rural Southern district.

Other Democrats who say they're opposed to the bill include Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.).

Boehner also took a shot at former Vice President Al Gore, who was expected to lobby members on the climate bill Thursday. Pelosi said Thursday she asked Gore to make calls to members from his home instead of traveling to Washington. Aides to the Speaker said Pelosi believed Gore would "be more effective" making calls.

Boehner didn't buy that explanation. He said Gore insisted in 1993 that Congress vote on taxing British thermal units (Btu) and that this vote cost some Democrats their seats in the 1994 election.

"A number of members got burnt on that vote, so it's no surprise that as quickly as Al Gore was invited to come lobby on [Waxman-Markey], it seems that he was disinvited rather quickly," Boehner said.