Senate to vote shortly on measure to block EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses 

For weeks, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and Republican Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, Ky., have been pushing for a vote on their amendment that aims to block the Environmental Protection Agency from bypassing Congress and regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. It looks like they'll finally get their wish this afternoon.

Starting at 4 p.m, the Senate is holding a series of votes regarding EPA regulations, including three Democratic alternatives and the McConnell-Inhofe amendment.

The failure of the last Congress to pass “cap and trade” has raised fears among conservatives that the Obama administration would pursue the same goal through the EPA, without Congressional approval.

Democratic leadership has resisted the vote, as the caucus is divided among those loyal to environmental groups and  vulnerable Democrats in swing states in which the regulations would be unpopular.
While Republicans believe that they can achieve a majority in the Senate for the amendment, the 60-vote supermajority will be a tougher hill to climb. McConnell’s office has identified 15 Democrats whose public statements suggest they are possible votes for the amendment, but it’s unclear whether they will vote for it.
In attempt to provide cover to this group of fence-sitters, Democrats have offered a series of alternate amendments. One, by Sen. Max Baucus, D- Mont., would aim to exempt small businesses and another, by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D -W.V., would postpone any EPA action for two years. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. has offered something similar.

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