How badly do House Republicans want to kneecap White House energy regulations?
They voted overwhelmingly Thursday to bar the Energy Department from blocking approval of offshore-drilling permits. But there’s just one thing: The Energy Department doesn’t regulate drilling. The Interior Department does.
The prohibition on the Energy Department regulating something that it doesn’t regulate came came via Republican Rep. Steve Stockman’s amendment to a wider department spending bill, which also passed Thursday.
Republicans have long argued that Obama administration regulators tie up drilling permits in red tape.
But on the House floor Thursday, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur said Stockman’s amendment targeting the Energy Department was barking up the wrong tree.
“There are no funds related to this purpose in our bill at all,” she said, adding that the amendment has “no relationship to the bill before us here in the House.”
Stockman argued, however, that “there is oversight” and that “there has been, I feel, unfair interference.” He also spoke generally about the jobs and other benefits of U.S. production. His aides did not respond to a request for comment Friday morning.
Stockman may have been seeking to make a larger point. A July 10 press release announcing the amendments Stockman hoped to offer includes one called “End the Energy Roadblock,” described this way:
“No funds shall be appropriated to the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior or Department of Energy if all offshore drilling permits filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management or Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement are not acted on in a fair and timely manner.”
Another hoped-for Stockman amendment that didn’t come up would “end the EPA,” according to the release.
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Concerned that she's become too divisive, "Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July. ... Wasserman Schultz has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the party’s other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, who argue she has tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor." The money quote, from a Democratic senator who backs Clinton: “There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on." Meanwhile, Newsweek takes a look at why no one seems to like Wasserman Schultz.
"The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Wednesday on a Republican bill that would block the District of Columbia from spending locally raised tax revenue without congressional approval, prompting President Obama to pledge to veto it. In issuing the veto threat on Tuesday, the Obama White House made one of the strongest statements to date in support of the District’s attempt to win financial independence from Congress."
When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.