Key senators nearing deal that would allow vote on blocking EPA climate rules

Coburn told reporters Monday that he believed he had reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems face identity crisis Heller under siege, even before healthcare Charles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales MORE (D-Nev.). A Reid spokesman said late Monday night that the lawmakers had not yet reached an agreement, but hoped to finalize one Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMedicaid becomes big threat to GOP’s healthcare revival Unresolved issues, very little time for Senate GOP Valerie Jarrett slams GOP for not including women in healthcare discussions MORE (R-Ky.) offered an amendment to the small business bill that would permanently eliminate EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats submitted three amendments to the bill that would limit, rather than outright eliminate, EPA’s climate authority.

Senate Small Business Committee Chairwoman Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuTrump posts O'Keefe videos on Instagram O'Keefe video shows CNN's Van Jones calling Russia story a ‘nothingburger’ White House encourages viewing of anti-CNN James O'Keefe video MORE (D-La.) said Tuesday that negotiations on the Coburn amendments are ongoing and an agreement could be finalized later Tuesday.

And she expressed optimism that the Senate will be able to move forward with votes on the amendments to block or limit EPA climate rules this week.

“The negotiations are ongoing and it looks like we may potentially be able to have votes on the EPA related amendments potentially tomorrow or before the end of this week,” Landrieu said.

But, given ongoing negotiations over government spending, the timeline for votes on the amendments is very much in flux. Votes were expected last week and were delayed.

Landrieu said it is unclear whether Coburn will get a vote on his amendment to repeal ethanol subsidies.

“There’s opposition to that on both the Republican and Democratic sides against ending the subsidy for ethanol,” Landrieu said. “We’re still engaged. But it’s just moving very, very slowly. Hopefully we can get an agreement in the next couple of hours.”

The McConnell amendment to block EPA climate rules mirrors legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeSenators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan McCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control MORE (R-Okla.). Companion legislation is expected to come up on the House floor Wednesday. The bill will easily pass the House, but faces major hurdles in the Senate.

Democratic alternative amendments to limit EPA’s climate rules include: Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusLawmakers: Leave advertising tax break alone GOP: FBI firing won't slow agenda White House tax-reform push is ‘game changer,’ says ex-chairman MORE (D-Mont.) amendment to codify EPA plans to exempt small polluters from climate rules and exempt the agriculture sector from the rules; Sen. Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE’s (D-W.Va.) amendment to delay EPA climate rules for two years; and Sen. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowSenate Dem: 'We've got to stop the administration from sabotaging the private insurance market' No certainty on cost-sharing payments to insurers Dems express concerns about Trump's proposed rural development cuts MORE’s (D-Mich.) amendment to delay EPA climate rules for two years, exempt agriculture from greenhouse-gas rules and boost a tax credit program for manufacturing green-energy equipment, among other provisions.