The White House is threatening to veto legislation coming to the House floor this week that would block upcoming carbon-emissions standards for power plants.
The GOP-led bill, which the House is expected to pass, is highly unlikely to gain enough Senate traction to reach President Obama’s desk anyway.
But the veto threat issued Tuesday is part of the messaging thrust-and-parry over the White House’s climate-change plan and the Environmental Protection Agency’s power-plant rules that are at its core.
The White House, in a statement Tuesday, said the bill would threaten “the health and safety of Americans.”
The measure would “stifle progress in reducing carbon pollution by discouraging the adoption of currently available and effective technology, and would limit further development of cutting-edge clean-energy technologies,” the White House said.
Rep. Ed Whitfield, the Kentucky Republican who is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is lead sponsor of the bill.
It would greatly soften planned emissions rules for future power plants that EPA is slated to finalize this year. Republicans and some conservative Democrats say the rules are a de facto ban on construction of new coal plants and call them part of a wider regulatory assault on the coal industry.
The bill would also prevent separate planned emissions standards for existing power plants from taking effect unless Congress votes to set the effective date for the regulation, which the White House notes could delay those standards indefinitely. EPA intends to propose those rules in draft form in June.
The House is likely to pass the bill Thursday. The measure’s chief backers are Republican, but its 94 cosponsors include seven Democrats.
What We're Following See More »
The Signal app is fast becoming the new favorite among those who are obsessed with the security and untraceabilty of their messaging. Just ask the Democratic National Committee. Or Edward Snowden. As Vanity Fair reports, before news ever broke that the DNC's servers had been hacked, word went out among the organization that the word "Trump" should never be used in their emails, lest it attract hackers' attention. Not long after, all Trump-related messages, especially disparaging ones, would need to be encrypted via the Snowden-approved Signal.
The Republican Study Committee may lose several members of the House Freedom Caucus next year, "potentially creating a split between two influential groups of House conservatives." The Freedom Caucus was founded at the inception of the current Congress by members who felt that the conservative RSC had gotten too cozy with leadership, "and its roughly 40 members have long clashed with the RSC over what tactics to use when pushing for conservative legislation." As many as 20 members may not join the RSC for the new Congress next year.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued emergency authorization for a Zika diagnostics test from Swiss drugmaker Roche, skirting normal approval channels as the regulator moves to fight the disease's spread." Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that a new study in Nature identifies "about a dozen substances" that could "suppress the pathogen's replication." Some of them are already in clinical trials.
According to 37 newly released audits, "some private Medicare plans overcharged the government for the majority of elderly patients they treated." A number of Medicare Advantage plans overstated "the severity of medical conditions like diabetes and depression." The money has since been paid back, though some plans are appealing the federal audits.
"GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution" on the budget this fall "that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays." As usual, however, the House Freedom Caucus may throw a wrench in Speaker Paul Ryan's gears. The conservative bloc doesn't appear willing to accept any CR that doesn't fund the government into 2017.