Category Archives: Climate Change

Senators Vote on Amendments to Small Business Legislation

Senators have taken a series of votes on amendments in relation to the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493). Each required 60 votes for passage.

Several dealt with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amendment that would “fully revoke the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act,” according to POLITICO. It was defeated by a vote of 50-50.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) offered an amendment that would have exempted “agriculture and small industrial facilities from climate rules.” Baucus said his amendment focused on protecting agriculture producers. It was defeated by a vote of 7-93.

Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) wanted to impose a “two-year delay on EPA climate rules for industrial facilities.” His amendment was defeated by a vote of 12-88.

Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) offered an amendment that would “prevent the government from regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and oil refineries for two years,” according to the Kalamazoo Gazette. It was defeated by a vote of 7-93. According to The Hill, it would also “exempt agriculture from greenhouse-gas rules and boost a tax credit program for manufacturing green-energy equipment, among other provisions.”

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) also received votes on two of his amendments. The first would “prohibit unemployment insurance for Americans earning one million dollars or more in adjusted gross income,” according to an e-mail from his office.

It would do so by requiring “those seeking unemployment insurance payments to sign a form certifying the applicant did not earn $1 million or more in the previous year.” The amendment was adopted by a vote of 100-0.

His second amendment would require the Office of Management and Budget and “the executive branch to consolidate duplication within federal agencies identified in a recent GAO report on duplication.” They would “have to rescind at least $5 billion in duplicative spending where they are able to do so administratively.” The amendment was adopted by a vote of 64-36.

A Democratic alternative offered by Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) was defeated by a vote of 57-43.

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, EPA, General Government, Small Business, Unemployment

Manchin Expects Democratic Votes for Measure to Block EPA Climate Regulations

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) “is betting that as many as 15 Senate Democrats will back a GOP-led bill that strips EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions,” The Hill reports.

His estimate of Democratic support is far above what is widely believed, and would put the measure – which may receive a Senate vote next week – on the brink of the 60 votes needed or over the top.

Manchin, in a West Virginia radio interview this morning, said he’s urging fellow Democrats to back Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) amendment to small business legislation.

“Other people might not, but I believe there’ll be 13 to 15 Democrats that will vote for it,” Manchin said on the “Hoppy Kercheval Show.”

The amendment is being offered to the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493).

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, EPA, Interviews, Small Business

Coburn Will Allow Small Business Measure to Proceed

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) “is backing down after stalling small-business legislation to force a vote on his amendment to repeal ethanol subsidies,” POLITICO reports.

The Oklahoma Republican announced late Wednesday that he won’t continue to stand in the way of votes on the pending small-business bill after holding up negotiations for more than a day.

That sets up floor votes Thursday on a series of amendments to block the Obama administration’s climate change rules and a measure to repeal a 1099 tax compliance measure in the health care law.

But Coburn isn’t finished with ethanol just yet. He plans to call for a vote on a motion to suspend the rules after cloture is filed on the small-business bill, which would require 67 votes to proceed to his amendment.

“I’m just trying to get this thing unjammed,” Coburn said. “I won’t win it under a 67-vote rule, might not have won it under 60 with the pressures that would be applied, but it’s going to send a signal, ‘we’re going to get rid of this.’”

This is in relation to the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493).

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, EPA, Ethanol, Health, Small Business

Votes on EPA Climate Regulation Amendments Possible Next Week

Senate Democrats “hope to siphon votes from a GOP bid to hamstring EPA climate rules by voting first on a Democratic alternative,” POLITICO reports.

Top Democrats plan to hold a vote next week on an amendment from Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus before allowing a vote on a more sweeping climate amendment from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a senior Democratic leadership aide told POLITICO on Thursday.

Baucus’s amendment — which aims to exempt agriculture and small industrial facilities from climate rules — would allow moderate Democrats to support limits on EPA regulations without backing the Republican effort to upend the Obama administration’s climate policies.

McConnell’s amendment, authored by Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, would fully revoke the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, a move the White House opposes and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has called “draconian.” Companion legislation is slated for a House vote next month, when it’s expected to easily pass.

The Senate is also likely to vote next week on a third climate amendment, from Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), to impose a two-year delay on EPA climate rules for industrial facilities, the leadership aide said.

These amendments “are all being offered to pending small-business legislation that the Senate will most likely continue considering next week.”

That bill is the SBIR and STTR Reauthorization Act (S. 493).

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, EPA, Small Business

No Vote on McConnell EPA Amendment before Recess

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, EPA, Party Leadership, Small Business