Sunday, November 28, 2010

Someone finally mentions the attack on the EPA will come through budget resolutions

I've babbled for months now that the Congressional Republican attack on environmental protection will be through the budget process, not through Clean Air Act revisionist legislation that would be subject to a Senate filibuster and an Obama veto.

Someone finally acknowledges that, in an Environmental Defense podcast (starting around minute 35). There they call it a potential "rider" or an add-on to an appropriations bill that would be very difficult for the Senate to kill or for Obama to veto. That's very close to what I'm concerned about, but an even more insidious and hard-to-kill action would be to zero out the budget for anything EPA could do to enforce application of the Clean Air Act to climate change issues. So I'm glad it's finally noticed, and the question is how to respond.

Complicating this is the Republican threat to de-fund health care reform. I could easily seeing the Republican controlled House passing a budget that both de-funds health care and prohibits spending money to enforce the Clean Air Act. They will then attempt horse-trading, and I fear the concession that they'll ask for.

I think it's to the Democrats' advantage to say these are established laws that aren't to be part of any games that Republicans will use instead of trying for revocation, and make sure the Republicans are set to take the blame if the Republicans cause a government shutdown over the budget.

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