Senate Dem to try overturning Trump’s car emissions rollback

Senate Dem to try overturning Trump’s car emissions rollback
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos Overnight Defense: Mattis dismisses talk he may be leaving | Polish president floats 'Fort Trump' | Dem bill would ban low-yield nukes Dems introduce bill to ban low-yield nukes MORE (D-Mass.) is likely to back legislation to stop the Trump administration’s rollback of car emissions and efficiency regulations.

Markey told reporters that, once the rollbacks proposed Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are made final, Democrats could propose overturning them through the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

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“We’re in a position to bring out, when they complete this rule, a Congressional Review Act vote on the floor of the United States Senate, and to build a national campaign around that effort to fight to defend efforts to change these rules,” he said shortly after the rollback was proposed.

Markey's effort would come in addition to plans by the attorneys general of 19 states to sue the Trump administration to stop the rollback once it becomes final.

The CRA allows Congress to vote to overturn any regulation, even regulations that overturn past ones. It gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to overturn a regulation once it is finalized. The CRA only requires a simple majority of 51 votes for the Senate vote, but the House and president would also have to agree in order for it to take effect.

The Senate currently has 49 Democrats, so some Republicans would have to join them for such a measure to pass.

Markey sponsored a CRA resolution earlier this year to block the Federal Communications Commission’s action undoing its previous net neutrality standards. The Senate passed the resolution, but the House, which has a larger Republican majority, has not taken it up.

When he was in the House, Markey helped to write the 2007 energy conservation law that required the executive branch — eventually the Obama administration — to write the fuel economy rules at issue.

“By officially moving to the fuel economy emissions standards today, the Trump administration is veering American consumers, our security and our planet towards disaster. Rather than hit the brakes on this Big Oil–masterminded effort, it is using American consumers as crash-test dummies,” Markey said of the proposed rollback.

The Trump administration wants to freeze the efficiency and emissions standards in 2020, canceling out the increasingly tougher rules that were set to go into effect for cars produced through 2026.

The Thursday proposal would also block California from enforcing its own greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, so legislative efforts to overturn it would also reverse that change.