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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

OmniBUS Appropriations Bill Set To Roll Over Americans | McConnell Stands Against EPA's War On Coal

Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 16, 2014
The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 3547, the vehicle for the omnibus Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations bill which was passed by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 359-67. Congress must act before January 18 to prevent a government shutdown. The original Ryan-Murray budget deal ended the funding on January 15, but Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government while the omnibus was being considered.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the message to accompany H.R. 3547, setting up a cloture vote (to cut off debate) tomorrow morning. A vote could be held sooner if senators can reach a unanimous consent agreement.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) expressed his frustration with trying to dig through the bill—with its nearly 40,000 line items and supporting documents—but that it disconcerted conservative members to rush through a bill close to the size of Obamacare, which came in at about 2,700 pages. “When this is adopted, we will still have a $600 billion deficit in the current fiscal year,” Huelskamp warned, “and that’s just simply not good enough.”

Heritage Foundations's budget expert Romnia Boccia, a Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs, criticized the omnibus, "After being introduced at 8 p.m. Monday, the 1,582-page omnibus spending bill passed the House within less than 72 hours on Wednesday afternoon, in spite of a House rule that requires that members have at least three days for deliberation. This is just one more example of how carelessly the Congress spends taxpayers’ money. The omnibus packed 12 massive spending bills into one big package as part of a secretive process, and members were given no opportunity to offer amendments. This is how Washington passes a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds all sorts of pork projects and gives handouts to the politically connected."

Yesterday, the Senate voted 86-14 to pass H.J. Res. 106, a short term continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through Saturday.
The House is not in session today. Although they did did carry over their business from yesterday until 1:34 AM this morning. They are now adjourned until 1 PM on Friday, Jan 17th. Yesterday, the House passed along party lines H.R. 3362 (259-154)— "To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to require transparency in the operation of American Health Benefit Exchanges." Evidently the democrats are not ready for "transparency" in the "Obamacare" exchanges.

Amy Payne at Heritage offered this illustration: "Imagine for a moment that you were an NBA superstar. It’s tough to fathom making $30.5 million per year like Kobe Bryant does—but just think of that level of wealth. Even with that superstar salary, to pay for this year’s $1 trillion federal spending spree you would have to work for 32,837 years. This is completely beyond comprehension."
While outnumbered and having the filibuster stripped from them via the Dems' Nuclear option, the Senate Republican Leader and numerous conservative Republican Senators continues to address and to stand against the democrats' progressive agendas including the continuing War On Coal being perpetrated by Obama's Chief EPA operative.

 The Hill writes today, “Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday said he plans to force a vote to stop new Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. McConnell said he, along with 40 other Republicans, will file a resolution of disapproval against the proposed EPA rule the Congressional Review Act. EPA published its rule on the new performance standards for power plants — pushing for the facilities to be built with carbon capture technology — last week in the Federal Register. It came out nearly four months after EPA chief Gina McCarthy announced it would be a core element of President Obama's second-term climate change agenda. Now, as a piece in the GOP's fight against what they call Obama's ‘war on coal,’ McConnell will seek to stop the regulations through the Review Act — a rarely used legislative tool that allows Congress to block regulations from the executive branch. ‘The Obama administration appears to be sending signals that its latest regulation is just the beginning in a new, expanded front in its war on coal,’ McConnell said on the Senate floor on Thursday. ‘That’s why I — along with about 40 Republican co-sponsors, including my friend and fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul — intend to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating rule.’”

Politico adds, “Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell moved Thursday to force a Senate vote on one of the prime regulations in President Barack Obama’s climate plan, a move that would force vulnerable Democrats to take a public stance on the controversial rule heading into the midterm elections. . . . ‘So the majority leader and his Democratic caucus now have a choice,’ McConnell said. ‘Are they going to stand with the coal families under attack in places like Kentucky and West Virginia and Colorado, or are they going to continue to stand with the powerful left-wing special interests that want to see their jobs completely eliminated?’ . . . The National Association of Manufacturers applauded the move, saying the administration has been working on the power plant rule for almost two years despite industry pleas that the technology for capturing and storing carbon emissions isn’t ready to be deployed in power plants. . . . On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said the administration’s intent was to block new coal plants and kill coal-related jobs. . . . Obama has made it clear that the EPA rule on future power plants is just the beginning. Later this year, EPA plans propose the first-ever regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. That would be a far greater hit on the coal industry, whose plants make up about 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas output.”

This morning, on the Senate floor Leader McConnell explained that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy “knows that the technology this regulation requires is prohibitively expensive – that her own agency knows it’s nowhere near ready for adoption, that even some White House officials do not believe her plan is feasible – and that that’s the point. The point here is to eliminate coal jobs in America. That’s why I wasn’t surprised by emails that recently came to light – emails which appear to show EPA officials colluding with extremist special interests in devising impossible-to-achieve regulations. The emails even referred to previously shuttered power plants as ‘defeated,’ making the intent behind coal-related actions seem clear. And here’s the other thing: this new regulation is not even expected to reduce emissions in a meaningful way. What it will do, however, is trigger a section of law that would allow the Administration to eventually shut down coal-fired plants that already exist today. In other words, it could allow the Administration to achieve its true aim of eliminating coal jobs completely. For struggling middle-class families across Eastern Kentucky, this is just the latest punch in the gut from Washington – from an Administration whose own advisors seem to believe that a ‘war on coal is exactly what’s needed.’”

He blasted the Obama administration for its “crusade for ideological purity,” pointing out the people its quest to attack coal power is hurting.  “These are Kentuckians who just want to work, provide for their families, and deliver the type of low-cost energy that attracts more jobs to Kentucky. And coal is what allows so many of them do all that. It provides well-paying jobs and, as Jimmy Rose says, it ‘keeps the lights on.’ I’d remind my colleagues that coal does more than just keep the lights on in Kentucky. It keeps the lights on here too, both figuratively and literally. From the anti-coal blogger tapping out a tweet to the EPA staffer cooking up a meal, millions and millions of Americans rely upon coal to power their homes and their offices. In recent years, coal has accounted for about 40 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. That compares to just about 3.5 percent for sources like wind and solar. So even if the Administration were to achieve its dream of eliminating every last coal job, it’s not like they could just fire up a few windmills to cover the gap. It’s going to take a very, very long time – decades – for alternative sources to even come close to providing the same level of jobs and energy as coal. In other words, the Administration’s ideological crusade – it doesn't even seem to have a logical endgame. It’s basically just ideology.”

He continued, “And here’s the thing: Republicans agree that alternative and renewable energy sources are necessary for fuel diversity. But we believe that things like wind, and geothermal, and solar should be part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that also includes coal, and natural gas, and the oil that we can get right here in North America—with Americans providing the workforce. Another key difference is this: Republicans look at Kentucky coal miners and see hardworking men and women, not an obstacle to some left-wing fantasy. That’s why I – along with about 40 Republican cosponsors, including my friend and fellow Kentuckian Rand Paul – intend to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating rule.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., omnibus funding bill, big spending, EPA, War On Coal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:32 PM - Post Link


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