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 ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup 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 McConnellDisconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page GOP senator: There will never be full U.S.-Mexico border wall Overnight Tech: Dem wants to see FCC chief's net neutrality plans | New agency panel on telecom diversity | Trump calls NASA astronaut 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 LandrieuMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist 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 InhofeTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations Optimism rising for infrastructure deal Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate 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 BaucusChanging of the guard at DC’s top lobby firm GOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through 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 StabenowMedicare’s coverage decisions need more input from physicians Members help package meals at Kraft Heinz charity event in DC Senate braces for fallout over Supreme Court fight 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.