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Will Dems Take Opportunity This Week To Block EPA And Protect Jobs? | Missouri Political News Service

Will Dems Take Opportunity This Week To Block EPA And Protect Jobs?

March 29th, 2011 by MarkTwain · No Comments

Speaking on the floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gave a reminder that even with the crises around the world that demand attention, we cannot also lose sight of the important issues at home. “Now is not the time to lose focus on the paramount issue on the minds of most Americans today — and that’s the very real crisis that we face when it comes to jobs.  Americans look around them and they see neighbors and friends struggling to find work. And yet all they seem to get from the White House are policies that handcuff small businesses with burdensome new regulations and red tape; and that create even more uncertainty about the future, including the administration’s inexplicable and inexcusable inaction on trade deals that would level the playing field with our competitors overseas. And they’re tired of it. Americans are tired of the White House paying lip service to their struggles while quietly promoting effort after effort, either through legislation or through some back-door regulation, that make it harder, not easier, for businesses to create new jobs.”

And this week, the Senate is likely to have the opportunity to prevent one significant back-door regulation that would severely harm job creation if it were to be implemented – the EPA’s attempt to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. In an op-ed for Politico today, Americans for Prosperity’s Phil Kerpen explains what the EPA did: “To get away with using a law designed for a problem — local and regional toxic air pollution — that couldn’t be more unlike global warming, the EPA rewrote the law to suit its purpose. . . . The EPA did this because applying the law as written would create, it correctly noted, ‘absurd results.’”

As Leader McConnell said today, allowing the EPA to proceed with this regulation “would raise energy costs for every business in America — and lead to untold lost jobs for more American workers. In other words, in the midst of average gas prices approaching four dollars a gallon and a chronic jobs crisis, the White House plans to make the climate for job growth worse. And that’s why Republicans, led here in the Senate by Senator Inhofe, have proposed legislation to prevent this new energy tax from ever taking effect without congressional approval.”

Kerpen points to the stark choice before senators on this issue, writing, “Now, the Senate has a chance to stop the EPA’s global warming power grab. They can stand up for the Constitution and the principle that the people’s elected representatives make the laws. Or they can rubber stamp what the EPA is doing, allowing a barrage of regulations that could send energy prices skyrocketing, cripple U.S. industry and help our international competitors, including India and China.”

“The real solution for businesses of all sizes and for U.S. taxpayers,” Kerpen writes, “is the McConnell amendment, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), which blocks the EPA from twisting the Clean Air Act into a global warming law. That sensible approach would leave the question of any future global warming regulations as a question for Congress and U.S. voters. In the meantime, it would spare the economy from a devastating regulatory assault.”

Certainly, a number of Democrats recognize the problems these EPA regulations would pose. Strangely, that’s part of the reason there still has not been a vote, since Senate Democrat leaders still don’t know how to handle the potential for some moderate Democrats to vote for an amendment to block the EPA’s regulations. According to Politico’s Morning Energy today, “Democrats appear to be recalculating their approach to a series of floor votes on efforts to curtail EPA climate rules. Robin Bravender told Pros last night that senior lawmakers didn’t seem to have a clear road map when they returned from the weeklong recess. ‘We’re still talking about it. Unresolved,’ Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin told POLITICO late last night.”

In his floor speech this morning, Leader McConnell emphasized why Democrats should support the amendment he offered to block the EPA regulations, based on the work Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has done on this subject. “The Wall Street Journal has called the amendment we’re proposing, ‘One of the best proposals for growth and job creation to make it onto the Senate docket in years.’ Our amendment would assure small businesses across the country that they won’t be hit with yet another costly new job-stifling burden by Democrats in Washington. It will give voters the assurance that a regulation of this kind, which would have a dramatic impact on so many, could not be approved without their elected representatives standing up and voting for it. . . . At a time when Americans are looking for answers on the economy, this amendment is as good as it gets from Washington. By voting for it, we’d be saying no to more regulations and red tape. And we’d be saying yes to American job creators, and to the jobs they want to create.”

Rasmussen Reports:

81% Know Someone Out of Work and Looking for a Job

24% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove.



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