Thursday, September 16, 2010

Committee nixes EPA spending vote

The Obama administration scored a minor victory Tuesday when Senate Democrats abandoned plans for a committee vote that could have handcuffed its ability to write climate regulations. The Appropriations Committee canceled Thursday’s markup of the fiscal 2011 spending bill for the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department. Republicans were optimistic they would win on an amendment targeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s global warming authority because of help from moderate and conservative Democrats. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the subcommittee in charge of EPA’s budget, issued a statement blaming the delay on a $100 million amendment offered by the White House Monday affecting the reorganization of the Interior agency that oversees offshore drilling permits and revenue. But Republicans quickly labeled Democrats as chickens, saying the schedule change was really about EPA. “They’ve turned tail and run once again,” said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a member of the Appropriations Committee. “It’s amazing how afraid they can be to take a vote.”...more

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