Senate to Vote on Amendment to Block EPA Climate Rules

The Senate is expected to vote on Thursday on an amendment introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to small business legislation that could permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from promulgating climate change rules.

The vote had been expected today, but will likely take place on Thursday, given that the Senate had yet to agree to begin debate on legislation to reauthorize the Small Business Act,

McConnell, who introduced the amendment to S. 493, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization bill, on March 15, said it could deter the “very real crisis” of unemployment. “At a time when Americans are looking for answers on the economy, this amendment is as good as it gets from Washington,” he said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. “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.”

McConnell said the amendment was based on a bill sponsored by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) against new EPA regulations. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) The Hill reported that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has also introduced an amendment to the small business bill that would exempt small polluters from the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules as well as exempt the agriculture sector from the rules.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced an amendment to the bill that would delay EPA climate rules for two years.

Sources: POWERnews, Sen. Mitch McConnell, The Hill

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