McConnell Seeks to Block EPA Climate Rules

Mitch McConnell, R-KY is the Senate minority leader
National Journal
Amy Harder
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Amy Harder
Jan. 16, 2014, 5:54 a.m.

Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans are launch­ing a le­gis­lat­ive at­tack against Pres­id­ent Obama’s cli­mate-change agenda on the same day it faces scru­tiny from a Sen­ate com­mit­tee. 

Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky., is in­vok­ing a rarely used le­gis­lat­ive tool to try to block EPA’s cli­mate-change reg­u­la­tions.

Mc­Con­nell, who faces a tough reelec­tion cam­paign this year, filed on Thursday a res­ol­u­tion of dis­ap­prov­al un­der the Con­gres­sion­al Re­view Act to nul­li­fy the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency’s pro­posed rule clamp­ing down on car­bon emis­sions of the na­tion’s power plants. This move could force a Sen­ate vote with­in the next couple of months on the corner­stone of Pres­id­ent Obama’s cli­mate-change agenda.

The CRA, used suc­cess­fully just once since its cre­ation in 1996, al­lows sen­at­ors to by­pass the ma­jor­ity lead­er and force an up-or-down vote re­quir­ing only 51 votes to pass to stop reg­u­la­tions. Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans have tried — but failed — to use this le­gis­lat­ive tool for oth­er EPA reg­u­la­tions over the past couple of years.

A leg­al snag with this par­tic­u­lar EPA rule that Mc­Con­nell is seek­ing to undo is that the CRA can only be used against re­cently fi­nal­ized reg­u­la­tions, not those in pro­posed form, which this one is. However, some con­ser­vat­ive leg­al schol­ars have spec­u­lated that this rule may have an im­me­di­ate leg­al im­pact, and thus could be con­sidered “fi­nal” for these pur­poses. Mc­Con­nell sent a let­ter Thursday to the Gov­ern­ment and Ac­count­ab­il­ity Of­fice seek­ing leg­al cla­ri­fic­a­tion on this mat­ter.

“EPA is­sued the Pro­posed GHG Rule un­der a very un­usu­al pro­vi­sion of the Clean Air Act that gives im­me­di­ate leg­al ef­fect to the no­tice of pro­posed rule­mak­ing,” Mc­Con­nell writes in the let­ter, ob­tained by Na­tion­al Journ­al.

Un­der the CRA, a sen­at­or can force a vote to block rules with­in 60 (le­gis­lat­ive) days since those rules were pub­lished in the Fed­er­al Re­gister. EPA did so with its pro­posed cli­mate reg­u­la­tions last week.

Mc­Con­nell filed the res­ol­u­tion on the same day EPA Ad­min­is­trat­or Gina Mc­Carthy and oth­er ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials test­i­fied be­fore the Sen­ate En­vir­on­ment and Pub­lic Works Com­mit­tee on the agency’s cli­mate-change reg­u­la­tions.

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
2 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
2 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

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