Have I woken up in a parallel universe? More Democrats than Republicans vote to endorse the Bush tax rates as I was falling asleep. Now in the Senate, Politico reports that a key Democrat will attempt to defy Harry Reid and stop the Obama administration from imposing climate-change regulation at the EPA — before Republicans in the House get to take charge.
Pardon me for a moment … I have to check to see whether I’ve grown a goatee overnight:
Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is pressing forward on his drive to vote this month on his plan to delay Obama administration climate regulations for two years, threatening to go directly to the Senate floor and force a vote to include it in a catch-all spending bill.
Rockefeller has told Senate leadership “that he will insist on a vote” on his measure to block the Environmental Protection Agency global warming rules set to take effect next month.
“If left with no other option, Senator Rockefeller will seek to suspend the rules on the Omnibus Appropriations bill to bring up his legislation,” his office said in a statement. Such a maneuver would require 67 votes, which he is unlikely to get.
Originally, Rockefeller wanted this as an amendment to the OmniPorkulus bill, but that died last night as well. He’ll have to either attach it to the continuing resolution, or else aim at either DADT or the START treaty for his amendment. Republicans certainly won’t have any trouble at all supporting Rockefeller’s efforts, but Reid will be stuck between his promise to the West Virginia Senator and a White House that will not react well to such a moratorium. If Reid reneges, he may find himself defending his position as Majority Leader, a position coveted by Chuck Schumer, who won’t be likely to rush to his defense.
Rockefeller may want to aim a little more broadly than the EPA, however. As the Boss Emeritus reports, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has arrived in Arizona to address the murder of a Border Patrol agent, but her priorities are elsewhere. The new priority for Homeland Security — “environmental justice“:
Five Cabinet secretaries and senior officials from a wide range of federal agencies and offices participated in the first White House Forum on Environmental Justice today, illustrating the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring all Americans have strong federal protection from environmental and health hazards.
More than 100 environmental justice leaders from across the country attended the day-long event, which featured White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
Remember when Congress insisted on creating DHS in order to focus on national security from a domestic vantage point? How they demanded that all agencies that work on controlling borders and transit points be centralized for greater efficiency? Either we’re seeing a first-class case of mission creep here, or everyone in Washington has grown a goatee. At the very least, we’ve taken an Orwellian turn in the definition of “homeland security,” and in an age of terrorism, that’s a dangerous turn indeed.