House, Senate to take up EPA legislation; budget watch continues

At noon, the House will take up H.R. 910, which would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The House will start with a debate on the rule, then the bill itself, and then 12 Democratic amendments.

Four of these amendments would require studies on the impact of limiting the EPA in this way. One amendment that is likely to be controversial is from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and would say Congress accepts the EPA's findings that climate change is happening and is caused by human activities.

Final votes are expected by 6 or 7 p.m. While the bill is expected to pass the House, President Obama warned on Tuesday that he would veto any bill that "seriously" rolls back the EPA's authority under the Clean Air Act.

The Senate returns at 9:30 a.m., and after morning business will continue consideration of a bill to reauthorize small-business programs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday night announced that senators will consider an amendment Wednesday afternoon from Senate Republicans that would eliminate EPA climate change rules, and other Democratic alternatives will also be considered.

The breakthrough in the Senate may also allow consideration of other amendments, including six from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) aimed at reducing government spending.