Must-Pass Budget Bill Stalls Over Global-Warming Fight

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) arrives at a Senate Select Intelligence Committee closed briefing on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
June 19, 2014, 9:14 a.m.

With a White House veto threat loom­ing, top Sen­ate Demo­crats on Thursday froze pro­gress on a key spend­ing bill.

At is­sue: a Re­pub­lic­an at­tempt to at­tach lan­guage to the meas­ure that would block Pres­id­ent Obama’s plan to use the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency to ad­dress power plants’ con­tri­bu­tions to glob­al warm­ing.

The de­clar­a­tion sig­nals Obama’s de­term­in­a­tion to up­hold the re­cently un­veiled glob­al-warm­ing rule, which stands to be­come the linch­pin of the pres­id­ent’s en­vir­on­ment­al leg­acy.

Con­gress has un­til the end of Septem­ber to ap­prove the spend­ing bills needed to stave off an­oth­er gov­ern­ment shut­down, but the fight over cli­mate ac­tion raises an­oth­er hurdle to passing this sec­tion of the budget — which would lay out the next fisc­al year’s worth of fin­ances on en­ergy and wa­ter pro­grams.

Sen. Bar­bara Mikul­ski, the chair of the Sen­ate pan­el where the bill was set to be marked up, said the le­gis­la­tion would have to be voted on even­tu­ally, but that she pulled it from con­sid­er­a­tion Thursday after re­ceiv­ing word from the White House that the pres­id­ent would veto any anti-EPA riders.

“The amend­ment was a bill killer,” Sen. Di­anne Fein­stein, an­oth­er Demo­crat on the pan­el, said dur­ing the hear­ing. “If it didn’t lead to de­feat on the Sen­ate floor, it would have res­ul­ted in a White House veto; that was con­firmed to me by the White House yes­ter­day.”

Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials weighed in dur­ing an el­ev­enth-hour scramble Wed­nes­day night as Mikul­ski and Fein­stein tried to de­cide wheth­er to pro­ceed.

Re­pub­lic­an mem­bers of the pan­el cast the de­cision as an­oth­er in­stance of Sen­ate Demo­crats dis­al­low­ing amend­ment votes sought by the minor­ity.

“I’m so troubled by the de­cision today,” said Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Lamar Al­ex­an­der. “I hope we think about what we’re do­ing here. This can­not be the way the Sen­ate works.”

What We're Following See More »
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY U.S. INTEL
Putin-Linked Think Tank Developed Plan to Influence U.S. Election
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."

Source:
HELPED WIN FISA APPROVAL
FBI Relied on Dossier Allegations to Monitor Page
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."

Source:
AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JETS IN RESPONSE
Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE
A MESSAGE TO RUSSIA?
Pentagon Deploying F-35s to Europe
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

Source:
NOT ON SCHEDULE
Tillerson Meets Putin
1 weeks ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login