As an amendment to the proposed REINS Act legislation that I mentioned the other day, House Republicans added in a very particular amendment on which they all voted this morning that would disallow the White House from ever imposing some kind of carbon tax without prior Congressional approval. Via The Hill:
The lower chamber agreed to Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) amendment by a 237-176 vote, with 12 Democrats crossing the aisle to support it.
The amendment was added to an underlying bill that would require Congress to OK regulations that carry a $100 million economic impact or greater. …
Scalise’s measure doesn’t have much of a practical implication, as Congress — not the executive branch — is tasked with approving new taxes.
It does, however, put many Democratic lawmakers on record as supporting a carbon tax. The carbon tax concept has riled many conservatives, and many are trying to make sure it doesn’t gain traction. …
“Struggling Americans who have been unable to find a job or have not seen their paychecks grow would be hit with this national energy tax every time they pay their utility bills or fill up their gas tanks or go to the grocery store. It would also be another tax on manufacturers and another increased cost of doing business imposed on middle-class families by the Obama administration,” [Rep. Dave] Camp said in a statement.
While the overall REINS Act is certainly a no-go in the Senate, an anti-carbon tax measure certainly might be able to find enough support in the Senate. The White House has said they have no plans for trying to impose a carbon tax, per se, but hell — with all of the hugely economically damaging regulations both obvious and obscure they have running out of the EPA’s rulemaking pipeline, why would we trust those guys?
The real point of this exercise, however, wasn’t quite so much to block any immediate threat of specific White-House carbon-tax action as it was to express some preemptive opposition as well as to get Democrats on the record as for or against the idea. Smart.