House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants climate change legislation moved from draft to passage within the next six months -- with or without Republican support, she said on a conference call with environmental bloggers Tuesday.
"We would hope to have Republican votes as we go forward on this," Pelosi said. "Will I not put it forth unless I do? No. No. There's an inevitability to this that everyone has to understand."
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), co-author of draft legislation released today, said that he has been working with the House GOP and hopes to have "many Republicans" on board. He and Pelosi noted that dozens in the GOP had backed energy legislation two years ago, to the surprise of some.
But if they're not on board, Pelosi said, she's leaving without them. "I always say to members, there are two ways to look at this: either we're a convoy and we go as slow as the slowest ship and we [don't get] the bold legislation we want, or we are a bandwagon that is leaving the station and we hope that everybody's going to be on board, but we are leaving the station."
Pelosi highlighted the dramatic shift in the politics of climate change, noting that within recent years the president was still denying that human behavior had anything to do with it.
"It's still inconceivable to some," she said of the pending legislation. "And we want to shorten the distance between the inconceivable and the inevitable and we want to shorten that distance to no longer than six months."