Senators ready for EPA climate change vote

“We are talking about a situation in which unelected bureaucratic government employees are systemically going about regulating every emission of CO2 in the country on very attenuated authority,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “They were never given the explicit authority by Congress to do so.”

Senate leadership reached a deal late Tuesday evening that will allow that amendment, offered by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to receive a vote.

The measure is being offered to a Small Business Administration (SBA) bill that has been stuck in the Senate for more than two weeks.

A number of other amendments to the bill would also affect the EPA, including one sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) that would implement a two-year moratorium on further EPA regulations on greenhouse gases.

Legislation identical to the McConnell-Inhofe amendment, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is pending in the House and is nearly certain to pass. President Obama, however, has threatened to veto it if it reaches his desk.

“There is not one chance in 10 trillion that the McConnell bill will become law," Rockefeller said. “It will never happen. I doubt it will pass the Senate, it certainly will not pass on any other level where it counts.”