Welcome back Mr. President! House passes resolutions condemning Obama’s …

2 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Christie, Rubio stumble badly on basics.

Republicans are making sure President Obama has a welcome home gift waiting for him when he arrives in Washington after the Paris climate talks: A pair of resolutions attacking his environmental initiatives. Congress voted to block EPA carbon rules for power plants Tuesday, dealing a symbolic blow to President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda just as he returns from a landmark summit in Paris.WASHINGTON – As President Barack Obama worked to hammer out a global climate agreement in Paris, Republicans in Congress moved to block his plan to force steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.President Obama told reporters this morning that throughout much of the world, there are officials who argue about all kinds of issues, but the “one thing they’re not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we have to do something about it.” Obama added, in a not-so-subtle shot at the Republican radicals running to replace him, “I think the president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important.Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is attacking President Obama over his response to ISIS in a new video— and he’s using clips from the news website BuzzFeed to convey his message.

The House on Tuesday approved resolutions disapproving of policies put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions at new and existing power plants. While the move will not stop the regulations at the heart of Obama’s pledge to drastically cut U.S. emissions, Republicans hope they can show other world leaders that the president’s successor may be unwilling to follow through on that commitment. “We want the world to know that there is disagreement with the president on this issue,” said Rep. Your credibility and America’s ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about.” The problem, of course, is that the GOP presidential hopefuls aren’t especially concerned with credibility on the international stage. The video juxtaposes ominous headlines and news clips related to the Islamic State with shots of a light-hearted February BuzzFeed video featuring the president. Obama can be seen making faces in front of a mirror and taking a selfie while clips of the Paris attacks, the recent Russian airliner disaster, and other events flash across the screen.

GOP lawmakers are also working to block federal dollars from supporting global climate efforts, and they are moving separate energy legislation this week that they say shows a contrast between their priorities and Mr. The votes come after the Senate approved identical motions last month under a little-used law that allows Congress to block executive actions it considers onerous.

Just four Democrats sided with Republicans to support the measures, which fell far short of the numbers needed to override a veto in both the House and Senate. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, where the climate-denying senator stuck to his stale talking points – “the climate changing has always been changing” – before viewers saw this amazing exchange. Jeb Bush, campaigning for president in Iowa, said Tuesday that “I’m not sure I would have gone to the climate summit if I was president today” due to concerns about the potential economic impact on the U.S. of an agreement. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power subcommittee, said the “questionably illegal” EPA regulations have made it effectively impossible for any new coal plants to be built, because no commercially-available technology could meet the new standards. “China, India and every other country in the world can build a new coal plant if they decide to do so,” he said on the House floor. “We simply want that option, and that’s what this is about.” The disapproval resolutions carry little practical weight, they cannot force the president to rescind his environmental regulations, but they serve to draw a stark contrast between what the president hopes to achieve on the global stage and the policy limits he faces at home. “It’s appropriate that we are debating these resolutions today, as we know the president and other leaders are meeting in France,” Whitfield said. “They’re speaking in generalities, they’re not being detailed in their plans – and yet in America, we are becoming aware more each day of exactly what EPA’s regulations, the impact that they’re having on the American people.” Republican leaders have long railed against the Obama administration’s efforts to enact environmental standards through a series of executive orders – a path he embarked on as it became clear Congress would not be able to pass sweeping legislation to combat climate change during his presidency.

The Senate passed similar measures in mid-November, employing a rarely used legislative tool that allows it to nullify recent federal rules without reaching a 60-vote majority. Republicans have filed measures to hold any progress made at the Paris talks to a reckoning in the Senate, akin to that of a treaty, and called on congressional leaders to strip a request for $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund – which was established by the United Nations to help developing countries reduce their carbon emissions – from the forthcoming omnibus spending package. To the extent that reality still matters, the notion that the national debt – which Rubio is eager to add to with massive tax breaks for the wealthy that the country obviously can’t afford – poses a greater threat to the future than the climate crisis is simply bonkers.

Democrats countered that the power-plant rules were important steps to slow global climate change that is already causing real harm through increased droughts, wildfires, floods and more severe storms. The fact that Rubio represents the state of Florida, of all places, where rising sea levels pose an existential threat, makes his posture that much more bizarre. Obama wrapped up a two-day visit to the summit Tuesday afternoon. “You have the president leaving Paris, and you’ll also have a contrast,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “[With] what the president’s proposing now—a regulatory cap-and-trade [program]—you’ll see disapproval, not just from the Senate, but in the House as well.” Citing the regulations’ role in improving public health and fighting climate change, the White House has said Mr.

But there are now scientists saying that’s basically an arbitrary number.” If elected president next year, Rubio would be the only head of state of any democracy on the planet to reject climate science. He said Republicans have “no constructive alternative to offer that would improve the environmental performance of the electricity sector.” The House is expected to vote later this week on a bill to modernize energy infrastructure and improve efficiency.

But the Obama administration already issued a veto threat against that legislation on Monday, arguing that it would undermine initiatives already underway. While it supports making some aspects of the deal legally binding, the administration strongly opposes making the climate change targets themselves binding because that would trigger a requirement to submit the final agreement to the Senate, where Republicans would reject it. Twenty-five mostly Republican states, led by Texas and West Virginia, are contesting the plan in court, calling it an unlawful power grab that will kill jobs and drive up electricity costs. Before that, she reported for the Las Vegas Sun as its Washington Correspondent, the Associated Press in Jerusalem, the Chicago Tribune, Congressional Quarterly, and worked at NPR.

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