The above headline is a bit misleading, but, so too, are 12 Democrat, and one Republican senators. Let me explain.
About 10 days ago, the Senate voted on a bill offered by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to rein in the EPA’s relentless march toward enacting, via regulation, what Congress refused to enact via legislation…cap and tax. For many Democrats, particularly those up for reelection in 2012, a vote on McConnell’s bill was akin to “drink the hemlock and you will die, or, don’t drink the hemlock and we’ll figure out another way to kill you”.
So, as it turns out, 63 senators voted to rein in the EPA, but, the EPA will still proceed as planned.
I know you are puzzled. If 63 Senators voted to rein in the EPA, why is carbon regulation still proceeding?
It’s called sleight of hand.
Three Senators offered three separate alternatives to McConnell’s bill, all three of which would have reined in the EPA regulations to some extent. Senator Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) alternative was that the EPA rules should be postponed for two years. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) alternatives would have exempted agriculture from the EPA tentacles. Everyone knew that none of the alternatives would pass on their own, but they provided political cover.
Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was only too happy to comply with this ruse by allowing this Chinese menu of “alternatives” to come to the floor at the same time as McConnell’s proposal. The end result… 50 Senators voted for McConnell’s proposal (one short of passage), and the 13 senators, who will be named below, voted for one alternative or the other. The rest are apparently happy letting the administration do their work for them.
However, all 13 of these Senators will be able to say, come the next election, that they voted to stop the EPA regulation of carbon.
Pretty clever, huh?
Here’s the gang of 13 (the names in bold are up for election in 2012):
- Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
- Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
- Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
- Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
- Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
- Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
- Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)
- Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
- Carl Lewis (D-Mich.)
- Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
- Jay Rockefeller (D-Va.)
- Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
- Jim Webb (D-Va.)
- Susan Collins (R-Maine)
- Carl Levin (D-Mich)
It should come as no surprise to learn that the five Democrats up for re-election come from states that are heavily reliant on fossil fuel. Now, they will be able to tell their constituents, “I voted against the EPA’s regulation of carbon”.
Spread the word.