Senate Democrats “have some breathing room before they have to weigh in on a contentious proposal to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions,” Roll Call reports.
A vote on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed amendment to the small-business legislation the Senate has been considering this week won’t happen before the week of March 28, Democratic sources confirmed Thursday.
The Environmental Protection Agency vote would be a tough one for some moderate Democrats, who would find themselves in the unsavory position of having to choose between the Obama administration and an anti-regulation Republican movement in Congress. The Kentucky Republican introduced the amendment Tuesday, and Republican aides have been grousing that no agreement has been reached to schedule a vote.
Further complicating matters, two Democratic Senators — Max Baucus (Mont.) and Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) — want votes on their own EPA-related amendments if McConnell gets his.
Rockefeller’s amendment would institute a two-year moratorium rather than a permanent ban on the EPA’s power to police greenhouse gasses. Baucus’ proposal would exempt agricultural producers and certain small businesses from EPA greenhouse gas regulations.
The Senate will not be in session next week as members head home for a state work period.