In a speech yesterday at the Heartland Institute, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) laid out the GOP strategy for dealing with the potential EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. Inhofe said that Republicans plan to stall until they get a new president, which means that Republicans might be willing to stall for the next seven and a half years.
Here is the video:
Inhofe said, “Don’t be distressed when you see the House passes some kind of cap-and-trade bill. And you know it could be worse and she could still pass it, so it’ll pass there. The EPA has threatened to regulate this through the Clean Air Act. That isn’t going to work in my opinion because we can stall that until we get a new president – that shouldn’t be a problem. The House will pass the bill. In the Senate they are not going to be able to pass it.”
How can Inhofe be so sure that it won’t pass the Senate? He can be certain because centrist Democrats a.k.a. Democrats in either Red or coal/auto producing states are already lining up in opposition to the bill. Eight Senate Democrats, Robert Byrd, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Carl Levin, Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Bob Casey Jr., and Mark Pryor, already opposed using reconciliation to pass cap and trade.
Even if Democrats get to 60 votes in the Senate, they still won’t have enough support to pass the current bill. This is an issue that will likely be resolved with a compromise. If the Republican strategy is to wait Obama out, they run the risk of Obama outlasting them. The problem with the strategy of stalling Obama is that the GOP may continue to get crushed in elections while they wait. The GOP’s stall tactics are more evidence that this party is devoid of ideas, and hoping to win through obstruction.