WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce advised legislators Friday to take time to read and consider the climate change bill before voting.
The House of Representatives passed the measure 219-212 in the evening.
Tom Donohue, the chamber president and chief executive officer, said at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor that his group wants a bill reducing greenhouse gases. But he said any bill the chamber supports would need to avoid onerous requirements on businesses and preserve jobs, The Hill reported.
"Last night, those people being asked to vote were given a 1,200-and-some-odd-page document that they have never seen before. This is 'hurry up and do it,'" Donohue said. "Bob Dole used to say to members of the Senate, 'Let's all hurry up and vote on this before anybody has a chance to read it.'"
The chamber sent House members a letter Thursday urging them to vote against the bill in its current form.
The bill -- which supporters said was crafted to limit greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy technology and create jobs that cannot be outsourced overseas -- included the controversial cap-and-trade system, which would require polluters to accrue credits through buying and selling for all the greenhouse gases they produce. The cap-and-trade system would help reduce emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, supporters said.
Eight Republicans voted in favor and 44 Democrats voted against the measure, which next goes to the U.S. Senate, where political analysts say it is likely to undergo some changes.