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Will 13-15 Dems Vote To Block EPA’s Backdoor Energy Tax As Sen Manchin (D) Suggests? | Missouri Political News Service

Will 13-15 Dems Vote To Block EPA’s Backdoor Energy Tax As Sen Manchin (D) Suggests?

April 4th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

On Friday, The Hill reported, “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) 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. His estimate of Democratic support is far above what is widely believed and would put the measure — which might 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.”

Appearing on the Hoppy Kercheval show, Manchin was asked why he appears to be the only Democrat who’s backing the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, which would block the EPA from regulating carbon as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. If the EPA proceeds with the regulations, they would amount to a back-door national energy tax. Manchin said, “Well, I’m working on [Democrats] I can tell you that . . . . I think they’re going to vote for it, I really do. . . . I just believe that the EPA has totally overstepped its boundaries.  It was never an agency put in a position to the create public policy that’s going to affect us and change our way of life, I truly believe. So I feel strong enough to sign on. Other people might not, but I believe there’ll be 13 to 15 Democrats that will vote for it.”

If Manchin is correct, that number of Democrat votes could pass the McConnell-Inhofe amendment. Certainly, around that number of Democrat senators have either expressed their displeasure with the EPA’s regulations or warned about the inappropriateness of the EPA moving forward without congressional approval.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained last week many of the reasons senators should support the amendment he and Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) have offered: “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. And, at a time of rising energy prices, it would prevent Democrats in Washington from adding even more pressure to energy prices than they already have out of fealty to special interests that would rather we buy our energy from overseas than find and use the bountiful resources that we already have here at home.”

As The Wall Street Journal put it in a recent editorial, “The question for Democrats is whether their loyalties to President Obama and EPA chief Lisa Jackson trump the larger economic good, not to mention constituents already facing far higher energy costs. . . . The McConnell amendment is one of the best proposals for growth and job creation to make it onto the Senate docket in years. If Mr. Obama is intent on defending the EPA’s regulatory assault, then the least Senate Democrats can do is force him to defend his choices himself.”



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