Senate Democrats in 'reply mode' on climate budget amendments

Republicans already have attempted to do so, though it's unclear which amendments will receive votes. 

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeFive takeaways on the canceled Trump summit with Kim Senate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain MORE (R-Okla.) submitted an amendment that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation MORE (R-Wyo.) tossed in a measure that would prevent federal agencies from evaluating greenhouse gas emissions from exports

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterSenate panel advances Trump nominee who wouldn't say if Brown v. Board of Education was decided correctly Planned Parenthood targets judicial nominee over abortion comments Trump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge MORE (R-La.) wants to block regulation of greenhouse gas emissions until China, India and Russia implement similar reductions. 

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSenate harassment bill runs into opposition from House Senate approves new sexual harassment policy for Congress Senators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy MORE (R-Mo.) filed an amendment to put senators on record as to whether they support a carbon tax. 

Still, plenty of Democrats filed amendments, and Whitehouse has tried to attach climate amendments to legislation in the past. When pressed on that and his reluctance to float a proposal Friday, he told reporters, “We will have lots of chances.”

The Rhode Island Democrat, one of the Senate’s strongest voices on climate change, said he wasn’t offering an amendment on the topic Friday because, “We will probably already be here until three in the morning." 

And there is probably another reason: It’s unlikely to pass, as centrist Democrats would join Republicans to block a climate amendment.

Regardless of what happens with a potential climate amendment, Senate Democrats contend their budget plan strongly backs the EPA and programs that help combat climate change.

To be sure, Democrats have a climate change amendment ready to go if Republicans come out swinging.

The amendment, from Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump: ‘Clapper has now admitted there was spying on my campaign’ Overnight Defense: Trump decision on Korea summit coming 'next week' | China disinvited from major naval exercise | Senate sends VA reform bill to Trump Senate sends major VA reform bill to Trump's desk MORE (I-Vt.), would “create a deficit-neutral reserve fund related to the need to vigorously combat global warming by establishing policies that transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” according to a summary.

— Ben Geman contributed to this report.