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 ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare 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 McConnellTop GOP senator warns of weekend work on Trump nominees Overnight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Mnuchin: Tax reform shouldn't add to the deficit 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 LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race 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 InhofeSenate teeing up Mattis waiver Lawmakers play nice at Russia hacking hearing Senate chairman meets Trump’s EPA nominee 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 BaucusFive reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination The mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation 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 RockefellerObama to preserve torture report in presidential papers Lobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner MORE’s (D-W.Va.) amendment to delay EPA climate rules for two years; and Sen. Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowOvernight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets 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.