Schumer Plans To Force Vote Reversing Trump's Replacement of Obama Clean Power Plan
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday his intention of forcing a Senate floor vote in an attempt to reverse a Trump administration rule on emissions standards.
The rule has weakened the Clean Power Plan, a policy adopted by former President Barack Obama that aimed at reducing carbon emissions from coal plants, according to the Washington Examiner.
Schumer said in a statement that he will use a procedural rule called the Congressional Review Act to force a vote on reversing Trump’s changes to the Obama regulation.
“We will force a vote to repeal the EPA’s dangerous rule that weakens critical standards to reduce emissions from power plants that significantly contribute to the climate crisis,” Schumer said.
The New York Democrat went on to portray the Trump administration rule as a “scam” and couch his announcement in terms of climate change.
“The Trump administration’s Dirty Power Scam comes at a time when Americans are demanding we take bold action to confront the climate crisis and it must be reversed,” Schumer said.
He also attacked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
“For months, Senator McConnell and Senate Republicans have shunned vital proposals to improve American’s lives, including those to address the climate crisis and gun violence epidemic, save protections for people with pre-existing conditions, secure our elections, get big special interest money out of politics and more,” Schumer said, according to The Washington Times.
“Senate Democrats will not sit around and wait for Senator McConnell to finally wake up and take action.”
The Congressional Review Act requires a simple majority in both houses of Congress in order to overturn regulations. Nevertheless, Schumer’s plan is unlikely to get the requisite 51 votes in the Senate.
Republicans hold 53 seats in the upper chamber, meaning that Schumer would need at least four Republicans to break with party lines and join him to pass the resolution.
And even if four Republicans defected, Schumer would need the support of his entire Democratic caucus.
While it is unlikely that the resolution will pass, even a mere vote may prove beneficial for the minority leader.
Schumer’s plan would force all 53 Senate Republicans to take a stand for or against the Trump administration rule.
While most GOP senators are highly unlikely to vote with Schumer, some moderates like Maine Sen. Susan Collins (who has broken from her party on climate change votes before) and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski may face a difficult decision.
Collins is up for re-election in 2020; Murkowski is not.
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