U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulation announced today that will mandate new coal plants to install expensive equipment or they won’t be allowed to fully operate, which will also lead to higher utility rates for Kentuckians. Senator McConnell also announced his intent to file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to stop the EPA from imposing its new regulation by ensuring a vote to repeal it. The CRA provides a procedure for expedited consideration in the Senate.
“The President’s decision today is an escalation of the War on Coal and what that really means for Kentucky families is an escalation of his War on Jobs and the Kentucky economy. This is another attempt by the President to fulfill his long-term commitment to shut down our nation’s coal mines. Sadly, it does not come as a shock given his failed attempt at getting Congress to pass a cap and tax bill designed to hike utility rates and bankrupt the coal industry,” Senator McConnell said. “The President’s allies in the Senate Democrat Leadership obstructed my attempt to pass the Saving Coal Jobs Act yesterday. However, I will file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating EPA rule.”
On Thursday, September 19, 2013, Senator McConnell once again took to the Senate floor to advocate on behalf of Kentucky coal miners and their families. Senator McConnell called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to take up and pass McConnell’s comprehensive coal jobs package, The Saving Coal Jobs Act, to counter the Obama Administration’s War on Coal. Senator Reid blocked passage of the bill.
McConnell’s Saving Coal Jobs Act was endorsed by the Kentucky Coal Association, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Letcher County Chamber of Commerce, the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Tax Reform.
BACKGROUND: Within 60 days after Congress receives an agency’s rule, excluding periods when Congress is in recess or adjournment, a Member of Congress can introduce a resolution of disapproval that, if adopted by both Houses and enacted into law, can nullify the rule, even if it has already gone into effect.