Will the Senate Ever Vote on the McConnell Amendment?

This Week in the Congress

by MYRON EBELL on APRIL 2, 2011

Will the Senate Ever Vote on the McConnell Amendment?

The Senate spent another week without voting on Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) amendment to block EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions or either of the two Democratic alternatives.  It is quite possible that there will be votes next week.  It is also quite possible that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will work out a deal with McConnell to dispose of many of the amendments to the underlying bill without votes and proceed to passage of the Small Business Innovation Research Re-Authorization Act.  Or Reid may keep stalling.

McConnell originally introduced his amendment (#183 if you’re keeping track) to S. 493 on 15th March.  It is identical to Senator James M. Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) Energy Tax Prevention Act, S. 482, which is identical to the House bill of the same name, H. R. 910.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced an amendment to try to provide cover for fellow Democrats and thereby siphon support from McConnell’s amendment.  Rockefeller would delay EPA regulations for two years.

That hasn’t gained much support, so Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced another amendment that would codify EPA regulation of major emitters, but permanently exempt minor emitters, such as small businesses, farms, and ranches.  The American Farm Bureau Federation’s strong opposition has discredited the case for Baucus’s amendment.

The wrangling has gone on for so long that a third Democratic amendment, combining some of the worst aspects of the two other Democratic amendments, was introduced this week by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).  Her amendment has fallen flat, too. (Cooler Heads)

Stabenow: Warming regs threaten jobs (like mine) (The Michigan View 04.02.11)
Posted by hpayne on April 2, 2011

Armageddon will have to wait until after the next election.

In 2009, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow told the Detroit News editorial board that fighting the climate crisis was her top priority.

“Climate change is very real,” she said echoing other Gorebama disciples that unless a cap and trade law was passed immediately, the world was doomed to floods, drought, hurricanes and species extinction on an apocalyptic scale. “Global warming creates volatility. I feel it when I’m flying. The storms are more volatile. We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes.”

But now with her 2012 re-election in trouble and Big Government in foul odor with the public, Stabenow has done a 180 – asking that the EPA delay its regulatory diktat to strangle American manufacturing with carbon caps. “My amendment is a common-sense approach,” she said in a statement this week.

But Stabenow’s retreat is more than just a cynical election ploy. This is no Left Coast tree-hugger. This is the surrender of a major green disciple from a major industrial state who has loudly advocated for global warming legislation not just because she saw it as the planet’s salvation – but as the new economic model for growth in Rust Belt states like Michigan.

Stabenow’s reversal on EPA regulation is admission that climate change is neither a crisis nor a jobs engine. In other words, a key green politician has just inadvertently admitted that global warming is a scam. (Henry Payne)

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