The Senate may vote today on the McConnell Amendment to S. 493. The amendment is identical to S. 482, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which was passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday evening, with bipartisan support. The legislation would revoke the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Although this looked like a long shot when Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) surprised everyone by offering it yesterday, the Democratic leadership realized late yesterday afternoon that they might lose. That’s when Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced his two-year delay bill as an amendment. That has fallen flat. The outcome appears to be in doubt this morning. There could be a vote and McConnell’s amendment could pass narrowly. There could be a vote and the amendment could fail narrowly. There could be a deal on all the amendments pending and the amendment could be withdrawn as part of the deal. McConnell could pull the amendment because it’s going to fail. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) could pull the bill from the floor because the amendment is going to pass.
My guess is that they can’t quite get to 60. It might be worth a vote if it fails narrowly because then we would know who needs encouragement. But if it’s going to fall short, the better outcome in my view would be to pull the amendment, wait for an overwhelming House vote to build momentum, and then provide encouragement to a lot of Senators for a vote later this year. But that’s just my view. There’s quite a bit that we don’t know, and in the end it will be up to McConnell and Reid