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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)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sec. John Kerry Confirms Obama Admin War On Coal: "We’re Going To Take A Bunch Of Them [Coal Plants] Out Of Commission

Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 12, 2014
The House will reconvene at 3 PM today for 10 to 15 minutes in hopes of wrapping up the second session of the One Hundred Thirteenth Congress.

Yesterday, The House had a long day finishing at 10:27 PM. They passed the following bills:
S. 2519 (Voice Vote) — "To codify an existing operations center for cybersecurity."
S. 1474 (Passed w/o objection) — "To encourage the State of Alaska to enter into intergovernmental agreements with Indian tribes in the State relating to the enforcement of certain State laws by Indian tribes, to improve the quality of life in rural Alaska, to reduce alcohol and drug abuse, and for other purposes."
S. 1353 (Passed w/o objection) — "To provide for an ongoing, voluntary public-private partnership to improve cybersecurity, and to strengthen cybersecurity research and development, workforce development and education, and public awareness and preparedness, and for other purposes."
H.R. 83 - $1.1 trillion Federal Spending bill - House agreed (219-206) with an amendment to the Senate amendment.
H.R. 5859 (Passed w/o objection) — "To impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation, to provide additional assistance to Ukraine, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5803 (Passed w/o objection) — "To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5742 (Voice Vote) — "To provide to the Secretary of the Interior a mechanism to cancel contracts for the sale of materials CA-20139 and CA-22901, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5699 (361-39 ) — "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to acquire approximately 44 acres of land in Martinez, California, and for other purposes."
H.R. 2952 (Voice Vote) - Senate amendments to H.R. 2952
H.R. 2591 (Passed w/o objection) — "To amend certain provisions of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012."
H.J. Res. 130 (Passed w/o objection) — "Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes."
H. Res. 776 (214-212) — "Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 83) to require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes; waiving a requirement of clause 6(a) of rule XIII with respect to consideration of certain resolutions reported from the Committee on Rules; and for other purposes." H. Res. 776, H. Con. Res. 122 is considered passed House.

Failed: H.R. 5806 (275-149) [2/3 votes required — "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify and make permanent certain expiring provisions related to charitable contributions." [Discussion on this on yesterdays's report.]

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after the House passed responsible legislation to keep the government running:

“With a bipartisan vote, the House has passed a responsible bill to keep the government running and address the American people’s priorities. This measure puts us on track to save taxpayers more than $2.1 trillion while protecting jobs and supporting our national defense. In addition, by the House’s action, we are setting up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration next month, when there will be new Republican majorities in both chambers. The Senate should act on this bipartisan legislation in short order.”Gary Bauer, Contributing Author, offered his review of House passing the Cromnibus - H.R. 83.After a day of drama, the House of Representatives passed the so-called "cromnibus" spending bill last night by a margin of 219 to 206, thus narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. Sixty-seven Republicans voted against it, while 57 Democrats voted for it.

Few conservatives are happy with this bill. Rep. Jim Moran, a left-wing Virginia Democrat, rallied support for the bill, saying, "We got virtually everything that the Democrats tried to get." That doesn't exactly leave me with warm and fuzzy feelings. But then Moran conceded, "What's going to happen next year is that we're going to lose all of the money that was put into Democratic priorities." Moran's point was that Democrats should take what they could get while they still could. Yesterday's hodgepodge represented the dying breath of a divided Congress -- the last time that Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid could make demands.

If you're among the many conservatives upset with John Boehner, here's an early Christmas gift: Nancy Pelosi was furious that this bill passed. She went to the House floor and blasted the bill as "blackmail," saying she was "heartbroken" by it.

But it wasn't Speaker Boehner or Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell who broke Nancy Pelosi's heart. No, Pelosi was "enormously disappointed" in Barack Obama.

The media love to obsess over splits in the Republican Party. But there are deep divisions among Democrats and there is every reason to believe they will only get worse over the next two years.
The Washington Times noted last night. "A last-minute plea from President Obama and fatigued GOP leaders overcame rebellions from both conservatives and liberals, clearing the $1.1 trillion spending bill through the House on Thursday in a dramatic late-night vote. Democrats huddled for more than three hours, and were visited by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who defended the deal just hours after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had publicly trashed it, accusing Mr. Obama and the Senate Democrats who negotiated it of caving to 'blackmail.'

"Most Democrats stuck with Mrs. Pelosi, but GOP leaders managed to cobble together a centrist coalition that held, passing the bill on a 219-206 vote, with Democrats and Republicans believing they got something important out of the bill, even as they had to accept less than they’d wanted."

The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and resumed post-cloture consideration of the motion to concur in the House amendment to H.R. 3979, the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Authorization bill.

At 3 PM, the Senate will vote on a motion by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to refer H.R. 3979 back to committee to be reported back with an amendment striking a package of lands provisions in the bill, which will require 60 votes to succeed. The Senate will then vote on another motion from Sen. Coburn related to an amendment to the bill.

Following those votes, the Senate will vote on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Defense authorization bill. 60 votes will be required.

A fourth vote will then be held on confirmation of the nomination of David Saperstein to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.

A series of voice votes will then be held on nominees to be ambassadors to New Zealand and Samoa, Iceland, Palau, Malawi, and Cape Verde. In addition, there will be voice votes on a nominee to be the Director General of the Foreign Service and on two nominees to the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

If a unanimous consent agreement is reached, votes are also possible today on the bill to fund the government through the 2015 fiscal year (H.R. 83), on terrorism risk insurance, and on a package extending popular tax credits.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 85-14 to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to H.R. 3979. They also Senators approved a two-day extension of current funding in order to give them more time to work through arcane procedural rules, pass the bill and cap the least productive congressional session in modern history.

According to a New York Times story from a climate conference in Peru, Secretary of State John Kerry told the foreign audience, “‘We’re going straight to the largest source of emissions.’ He even cited the most contentious impact of the Obama administration’s new rules — they are expected to shutter hundreds of coal-fired power plants. ‘We’re going to take a bunch of them out of commission,’ he said.”

Once again, here is a high-ranking Obama administration official confirming that they are pursuing a war on coal. Last year, a White House climate advisor proclaimed that “a war on coal is exactly what's needed.” And of course, President Obama said, when he was a candidate, “Under my plan . . . electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket . . . .” He explained, “[C]oal powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money.”

The Times notes, “In Washington, Mr. Obama’s opponents are preparing a full-on assault of the regulation. Leading the charge is Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the incoming Senate majority leader. For Mr. McConnell, whose home state is a major coal producer and relies on coal-fired power plants for more than 90 percent of its electricity, the fight against Mr. Obama’s climate change rules is personal. ‘This unrealistic plan, that the president would dump on his successor, would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs,’ Mr. McConnell said in an emailed statement. ‘It’s time for more listening, and less job-destroying red tape. Easing the burden already created by E.P.A. regulations will continue to be a priority for me in the new Congress.’”

This war on coal has cost many people their jobs in Kentucky already. About a year ago, Fox News reported, “Nowhere has been hit harder than eastern Kentucky, where more than 6,000 miners have lost their jobs since January 2012. For each mining job, there are estimated to be at least three directly related jobs, like trucking, that also disappear.” Miners have lamented, “you just never know from day to day if you are going to have a job or not,” saying things like, “Our biggest worries now are just trying to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, telling your family that this was all caused by the EPA, directed by our President for his political agenda.”

As a railroad worker in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, queried an AP reporter over the summer, “Why keep chopping the legs out of your own economy to try to fight a world problem? You are going to destroy your country trying to set an example.”

In a speech on the Senate floor this past summer blasting the new regulations that Secretary Kerry was just touting to applause in Peru, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Earlier this year, the president’s EPA announced new regulations it wanted to enact on existing power plants that would be a dagger to the heart of my State’s middle class and constitute the single worst blow to Kentucky’s economy in modern times. The proposed EPA regulations on existing power plants would kill jobs and raise utility rates across the state while making the transmission of electricity less reliable. The regulations would adversely affect Kentucky power plants that account for thousands of Kentucky jobs. . . . [A]s the EPA uses administrative fiat to terminate existing and future coal-fired power plants, there will be less coal when we need it the most—when we need a source of affordable power. Families throughout the country that rely on coal for electricity could find themselves in a tough spot in the near future with the current Administration in office.”

Tags: Secretary of State, John Kerry, War on Coal, House appropriation bill, NSERT TAGS 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 12:50 PM - Post Link


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