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Congressional Insiders Poll

Click here to see how prominent bloggers responded to these questions.

Q: If the cap-and-trade legislation passed by the House becomes law, how much will it reduce global warming--if at all?

Democrats (35 votes)

A lot      29 percent
Some       40 percent
A little   31 percent
None        0 percent


A lot

"The status quo is so bad that the enactment of cap-and-trade legislation, even if it is not as strong as some environmentalists would like, will certainly significantly reduce global warming."


"Assuming that dramatic actions by the U.S. will induce other countries, such as China, to act."

"Keep in mind, we're at zero now."


"This is a modest first step. When we get a couple of years closer to the tipping point, extreme action that could have been mitigated by more-aggressive action now will be required. Interesting choice: Habitable planet, or 50 cents a day in energy costs? Republicans are prepared to lose the planet."


"And even more important in the shorter term are the new energy jobs the plan will create."

"Some; eventually 'a lot.' "

"More if President Obama can negotiate with China and India."

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"We shoulda done a carbon tax!"

A little

"Had the House implemented the president's plan to auction 100 percent of permits-to-pollute, which was cut in this cap-and-trade legislation, the incentive to reduce emissions would be markedly more. At present, permits won't be auctioned until 2030, essentially passing the buck to the next generation."

"The bill implements the accomplishments of California, which have lowered its impact on global warming a little. As California is to the United States, so the United States is to the world."

"Very little for a long time. But something is better than nothing, I hope."

"The effects of this bill remain to be seen, given how it was watered down and fattened up at the end."

"No single bill could stop global warming worldwide. The goal is to demonstrate we are doing our part so that a global effort will be successful. In that respect, it will be very beneficial."

"But we'll never get to 'a lot' unless we start with 'a little.' "

Q: If the cap-and-trade legislation passed by the House becomes law, how much will it reduce global warming--if at all?

Republicans (42 votes)

A lot      0 percent 
Some       2 percent
A little  33 percent
None      64 percent


A little

"It will have very little impact on global warming: You cannot punish your way out of a problem, and that is exactly the approach that the Democrats are bent on taking. Incentives in a broad-based energy policy focused on moving alternative-energy sources forward would have a major impact on the environment as a whole."

"To get to 'some,' other countries will have to participate."

"The effect on global warming will be inconsequential. And the U.S. will no longer have a significant bargaining chip with the Chinese and Indians. Cap-and-tax is simply a political payoff for the Left that won't do anything to help the environment."

"The problem will be that other countries, like China, which are putting coal-burning plants on line every day, will belch more emissions than we can ever hope to cap and [will] take American jobs at the same time. Very distressing. Also, the pain in the U.S. will not be shared equally."

"And 'a little' may be an overstatement."


"Carbon emissions worldwide will actually increase because of this bill. India and China will make sure of it."

"China and India will increase."

"Won't change Earth's natural cycles even if developing countries sign on, which they won't."

"Cap-and-trade won't become law, but if it did, it won't have any real effect. It is based on uncertain science, it is not global, and it is so watered down as to be almost meaningless. A Congress that hasn't got the will to balance its own budget is hardly likely to summon up the courage to alter the planet at the expense of the voters it represents."

"By the time they get it through both houses, it will be such a mess that the only thing that will be reduced is consumer discretionary spending and America's competitiveness in a global marketplace."

"A better alternative is nuclear power, advanced coal-scrubbers--anything but more taxes that destroy jobs."

"The level of hubris associated with assuming that this legislation will affect 'global warming' at all is off the charts. At the very least, industry will be more likely to leave the U.S. and go someplace where regulations are nonexistent, like China."

"China is building a coal plant a week. You figure it out."

Q: Do you favor any of these additional stimulus measures?

Democrats (36 votes)

Grants to state and local governments   33 percent
Safety-net payments                     36 percent
Individual tax cuts                      8 percent
Business tax cuts                        6 percent
No further action for now               56 percent
Create as many jobs as possible 
   (volunteered)                         3 percent


State and local grants

"Infrastructure spending: We need a direct shot in the arm at job creation."

"Only for infrastructure: roads, bridges, sewers, industrial parks, etc."

Safety-net payments

"After a record-breaking jobless report last month, we should do everything in our power to pull our economy off the precipice."

Individual tax cuts

"Layoffs and cuts at the state and local level will prolong the downturn. Tax cuts to those earning less than $50,000 a year will get spent in a hurry."

No further action for now

"Let's see where we are after more than a small fraction of recovery funding has been allocated."

"Unemployment is always a lagging indicator. Let's calm down and give the first stimulus, which was really the second stimulus, time to work."

"Present stimulus needs to play out further, but state government and safety-net needs are not going to go away."

"The economy was run into a deep ditch by the reckless policies of the last eight years. The stimulus package is starting to work, but it's going to take more than a few months to get back on the road."

"Nothing at this time until we start seeing results from the first stimulus."

"I do not think any further out-of-the-ordinary actions are needed. Funding the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and moving forward on reauthorization of the transportation bill seem to me to be enough at the moment."

"The federal government should not become more paternalistic than it already is, at least not yet."

Q: Do you favor any of these additional stimulus measures?

Republicans (42 votes)

Grants to state and local governments  0 percent 
Safety-net payments                    0 percent 
Individual tax cuts                   48 percent
Business tax cuts                     55 percent
No further action for now             36 percent


Individual tax cuts

"Suspend income taxes for a few months. The American people know how to spend their money better than the federal government does."

"Tax reductions have a proven record of stimulating the economy. Raising taxes depresses the economy. That's a concept that the Democrats seem unable to comprehend."

Business tax cust

"These should have been a major part of the first package. And what about the housing market?"

"The jobs folks want are private-sector. Better to work and pay taxes than have benefits expire."

"If taxing our job creators were a global Olympic sport, we'd unfortunately take silver."

"Incentivize job creation. Now there's a novel idea."

"The bill passed in February wasn't a stimulus. It was a spending plan. We need a real 'stimulus' that would help small businesses create jobs. Washington hasn't tried that yet."

No further action for noww=

"We can't afford any more stimulus measures. We're bankrupting our children!"

"Congress needs to focus on spending controls."

"No further actions for now, unless you go back and repurpose the spending done in the first stimulus bill."

"Congress needs to focus on the real ticking time bomb: entitlement reform. We do not need to spend more or tax less. We need to get serious about putting our fiscal house in order."

"Even if Democrats agreed to targeted tax relief, they would certainly ask for more spending in return. Better to just keep the spigot off for now."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher Dodd, Edward Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Jon Tester; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Michael Arcuri, Tammy Baldwin, Melissa Bean, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Rick Boucher, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, Chris Carney, James Clyburn, Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Artur Davis, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Phil Hare, Alcee Hastings, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Frank Kratovil, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Kendrick Meek, Jim Moran, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Schauer, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Pete Stark, John Tanner, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, and Peter Welch.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, Jim Bunning, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Mel Martinez, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Sessions, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Michael Castle, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, David Dreier, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Pete Hoekstra, Bob Inglis, Darrell Issa, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Christopher Lee, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Adam Putnam, Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Peter Roskam, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, and Joe Wilson.

This article appears in the July 11, 2009 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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