Oct 10, 2019

Senate Democrats plan to force vote on Trump's power plant emissions rule

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Democrats intend to force a roll call vote next week on EPA regulations that scrapped Obama-era carbon emissions rules for power plants and replaced them with a more modest alternative.

Why it matters: Floor votes on global warming are rare, and the bid to scuttle the Trump administration rule signals Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) increasing emphasis on the topic.

  • The planned vote comes roughly 2 weeks after Schumer said a sweeping climate bill would be "one of the first things we put on the floor" if Democrats regain the majority in the 2020 elections.

What's next: Schumer's office said Democrats would force a vote under the Congressional Review Act, a mid-1990s law that gives Congress power to overturn final regulations.

  • Resolutions under the law are immune from filibusters, meaning only a majority vote is needed for passage.

But, but, but: The move is very likely more of a messaging effort than a realistic chance at altering Trump administration policy.

  • Schumer's announcement says it will be the first of several on various topics, including healthcare, to show how GOP leadership has "turned the upper chamber into a legislative graveyard for priorities of the American people."

The big picture: Over the summer, the EPA issued final rules that require states to make coal-fired units more efficient over time, but the regulations lack binding CO2-cutting targets. They replaced a wider 2015 regulation, which never took effect, that sought to drive more wide-ranging power sector changes.

Go deeper: How the EPA's climate rule rollback could reach beyond coal

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.