President Obama’s recent move to change EPA rules and force the energy industry to reduce its carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2020 was a smart move because the GOP has a reputation for gumming up the Congressional process. The GOP hates the rule, of course, and they are positioned to commit more are the legislative obstruction which has become a mainstay of the their brand.
The fiscal year ends in about four months, and top House Republicans are entertaining the idea to use appropriations legislation to block the new emissions regulations. In short, they’re thinking about doing another shutdown.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of support on our side for trying to block that. And I hope with some Democrats too,” said Senate Republican Conference Chair John Thune (R-SD). “The power of the purse is one power Congress has, and if you want to send a clear message to the administration about a series of regulations that you think are very detrimental, one way to do that would be through the appropriations process.”
Thune is wrong, and a bit delusional. Republicans failed last year when they tried to “send a message” to the administration by shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act. The White House remained steadfast and refused to negotiate with Republicans over the shutdown. The GOP eventually let up, played ball, and suffered low approval ratings as a result of the shutdown.
Now, Thune and other Congressional Republicans are considering whether or not to use the annual appropriations and budgeting process as a negotiation tool to powerplay Obama to change the new EPA rules. The tactic didn’t work then, so what makes the GOP think that it would work again this year?
The party will support “anything we can do to prevent the administration from going forward with what are really poorly timed, very burdensome, very expensive . . . regulations.”
Thune’s language insists that more GOP obstruction on the horizon, which will be done in vain, once again. Obama wouldn’t budge for the GOP on the ACA, and he won’t budge on the new EPA rules either. Would the GOP be so foolish as to once again cause such a huge debacle, especially one so close to the midterms? The idea actually doesn’t seem so far-fetched.