Energy & Environment

Democrats vow to push for repeal of other Trump rules after loss on power plant rollback

Greg Nash

Senate Democrats say they will continue to try to use congressional powers to repeal executive branch regulations, even though the tactic failed during an effort to overturn a rollback of power plant pollution. 

“We got to keep putting heat on these Republicans who side with the big oil interests, the big coal interests instead of the average person’s health and well-being,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Hill on Thursday. 

The vote, which failed 53-41, was an attempt to overturn the Affordable Clean Energy rule, the Trump administration’s replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to repeal agency rules 60 days after they’ve been finalized. The so-called disapproval resolution needs a majority vote to pass.

Though Thursday’s vote was not a success for Democrats, leadership said they will use the tactic again, eyeing votes on the regulations that green-lit health care plans that do not meet the standards set by the Affordable Care Act, as well as other regulations tied to the 2017 tax cut package.

“Any one that we can, we will,” Schumer said of future agency rules.

Republicans have used the maneuver successfully in the past, voting in 2015 to repeal two major environmental regulations from Obama, the Clean Power Plan and another measure that blocked the construction of new coal fired power plants. 

Democrats did not outline additional policies beyond health care and taxes where they might try to use a disapproval resolution.

“It’s a clear vote as to what side you’re on on the issue,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told reporters after the vote. “We like to win, make no mistake about it, but if we don’t challenge the other side to put their votes on the board they will always hide behind the fact that ‘Gee there was no opportunity.’ But there was an opportunity today, and there should be accountability on these votes.” 

Tags Affordable Clean Energy rule Ben Cardin Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Clean Power Plan

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