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 »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
14 hours ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
17 hours ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
17 hours ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
17 hours ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

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