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 »
POTENTIAL CONTEMPT CHARGE
Nadler: Goodlatte Could Subpoena Rosenstein
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., warned such a move puts Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counsel investigation of being shut down prematurely."

Source:
NO NEW FUNDING INCLUDED
House Ag Committee Passes Farm Bill
2 days ago
THE DETAILS
"On a party-line vote, the House Agriculture Committee approved a five-year farm bill on Wednesday that tweaks the supports now in place—a promise of certainty, leaders said, during a period of low commodity prices and threats of a trade war with agriculture on the front line." The bill includes no new funding over the last farm bill.
Source:
WOULD ASSURE ANYONE PARDONED BY TRUMP CAN BE PROSECUTED BY STATE
Schneiderman Urges NY Lawmakers to Close “Double Jeopardy Loophole”
2 days ago
THE LATEST
INTRO’d LAST NIGHT
Ryan Tamps Down AUMF Talk
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Referring to the AUMF introduced by Sens. Tim Kaine and Bob Corker Monday evening, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday "he won’t allow any bill to come to the House floor that he thinks would restrict military commanders’ ability to fight." Ryan "defended the legality of U.S. military strikes last week against chemical weapons-related sites in Syria, saying President Trump had the authority to order them under the Constitution’s Article II commander-in-chief powers."

PROSECUTORS WILL GET FIRST LOOK
Judge Denies Requests by Cohen, Trump
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Attorneys for both President Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen lost a court challenge today, as they sought to suppress evidence gathered in a raid of Cohen's office and hotel room. "U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood denied the requests and ruled that prosecutors will get first access to the information, followed by Cohen’s defense team ten days later. Wood noted that she has not yet decided whether she will appoint a special master in the case at all."

Source:
×
×

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