Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is using "corporate prostitutes" to "intimidate" Congress into passing climate change legislation, a key Republican senator said Wednesday.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chided committee chairwoman Boxer's claim that her climate bill would bring billions of dollars in private investments to the economy.
"You can find a few corporate prostitutes out there that stand to make a whole lot of money on this thing," Inhofe told conservative radio host Steve Malzberg today. "What they're trying to do is to intimidate congress into passing it."
The conservative senator argued that Boxer and bill co-sponsor Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) are so intent on passing the bill in order to relieve the inevitable pressure on the White House from people angry about tax increases included in the bill.
"And so the president, Obama, doesn't want people to say 'hey, why did you do this regulation?
You're responsible.' Well, he wants to intimidate us so at that point he can say 'no Congress did it,'" Inhofe said.
Inhofe predicted, however that the bill would not pass Congress.
"It's not going to pass, they don't have the votes," he said, adding that Democratic leaders would unlikely use controversial budget reconciliation tactics to pass cap-and-trade.
Congressional Democratic leaders have threatened to use reconciliation to pass healthcare legislation.
Inhofe predicted that the climate bill would only get 30 votes in the Senate based on his vote count of last year's Warner-Lieberman climate change legislation.