The $1 trillion federal spending bill that lawmakers unveiled Monday night would soften an Obama administration climate-change policy that greatly restricts U.S. support for coal-plant construction in developing nations.
The omnibus appropriations bill waters down, during the rest of fiscal 2014, an Export-Import Bank policy that largely prevents support for building overseas coal plants that don’t trap carbon-dioxide emissions.
The language, according to House Appropriations Committee Republicans, also restricts an Overseas Private Investment Corporation policy that limits support for coal-plant construction.
The bill text says the climate policies may not be enforced during fiscal 2014 if they prevent access to power in very poor nations or prevent increased exports of U.S. goods and services.
The bill also targets a policy to phase out inefficient light bulbs in the U.S. that was contained in a bipartisan 2007 energy law but has since fallen out of favor with conservatives.
But while the bill technically blocks Energy Department enforcement of the rules, manufacturers have already been phasing out the inefficient incandescent bulbs.
A summary of the massive spending bill circulated by House Appropriations Committee Democrats said Republicans had sought to go much further in attacking environmental regulations.
Their summary notes that the bill, which would fund the government through Sept. 30, omits “egregious” GOP policy riders aimed at preventing regulation of greenhouse gases from power plants and blocking the expansion of Clean Water Act protections.
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Senator John McCain paid a secret visit to Northern Syria over the weekend during his trip abroad. McCain reportedly went "to speak with American officials and Kurdish fighters leading the charge to push ISIS militants out of Raqqa, the jihadist group’s stronghold." The trip was organized with the help of U.S. military.
"The Trump administration will deliver its first budget to Congress in mid-March, and the president confirmed Wednesday it will contain major cuts for federal agencies." The blueprint, expected to be released in mid-March, will not include the kinds of specifics usually seen in White House budgets, but rather will instruct the heads of agencies to "do more with less."
"While Democrats nationwide have put the focus on President Trump, the Sanders wing of the party has engaged in an intramural fight to remake the party in a more populist, liberal mold." From Washington state to California to Florida, Sanders loyalists are making good on their promise to remake the party from the ground up. And just last week, a "group of former Sanders campaign aides launched a super PAC with the explicit goal of mounting primary challenges to Democratic incumbents."
Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.