By Brian Beutler
Republicans in Congress are circling in on a legislative strategy to exploit Democratic misgivings over the Obama administration's proposal to significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions – and to perhaps ultimately block the president from implementing it altogether.
Advertisement - story continues below
But there's a huge catch. To cross the line between administering political punishment and actually winning the issue, they either need Obama's signature or veto-proof majorities to oppose the emissions limits, neither of which is in the offing. Thus, the only way they can really press their advantage is by fighting the rule within the context of some other non-optional process, and the most proximate venue is the appropriations process.
“I’m going to keep vigorously fighting against the Obama Administration’s continued War on Coal Jobs – and this extreme, anti-Middle Class national energy tax in particular,” Mitch McConnell said, previewing an amendment that would most likely stop the EPA proposal in its tracks, and thus draw a veto from President Obama if passed.
This naturally has a lot of people wondering if the Republicans might commit a calamitous unforced error and shut down the government on Oct. 1, right before the midterm election.