Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Republican-led Senate could lead to major attacks against Obama's environmental agenda

If Republicans gain control of the Senate, it could be bad news for the environmental activists, Robin Bravender reports for Environment & Energy Publishing. "For the first six years of the Obama administration, Senate Republicans' minority status has handcuffed their efforts to rein in the environmental and energy policies they loathe. But if Republicans retake the Senate in this year's election, it'll be open season for attacks on President Obama's environmental agenda."

"A GOP takeover of the Senate would mean Republicans could finally set the agenda for votes and hearings, haul Obama administration officials to Capitol Hill to testify, slice even more cash from controversial agencies' budgets and continue to stall nominees for key agency posts," Bravender writes. "Perhaps the biggest impact on agencies like U.S. EPA, the Interior Department and the Energy Department would be ramped-up efforts to cut their funding—and some of the administration's pet programs."

Former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), a longtime member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Bravender, "Those three agencies are really important and a significant part of the president's agenda. If the Republicans take over the Senate, there will be an appetite for more aggressive hearings on how the administration is using its executive powers, there will be an appetite for riders and all the . . . things that have been bottled up that they want to do."

But in 2016, Republicans "will be defending Senate seats in a half-dozen states where Obama prevailed in both 2008 and 2012—Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—so they may not want to pursue an aggressively conservative agenda for fear of jeopardizing some of their incumbents," Bravender writes. (Read more)

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