[Harry Reid vetoed McConnell’s proposal one-minuet ago (SEE: Reid blocks McConnell’s bill on EPA rule). Mitch is going to have to find a better path than the one he would prefer. If he is to have any effect at all, he will have to risk actually appealing to the people, in order to gain their warm bodies to his side. Actions by Obama, such as this attack on jobs and his release of 5 top Taliban murderers (for one potential deserter), will guarantee that the next election will be the most extreme in years.]
Contact: Don Stewart, Michael Brumas 202-224-2979, Robert Steurer, Stephanie Penn 202-224-8288
McConnell Introduces the ‘Coal Country Protection Act’
‘I’m going to keep vigorously fighting against the Obama Administration’s continued War on Coal Jobs – and this extreme, anti-Middle Class national energy tax in particular.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate Floor today regarding the Administration’s latest attack on the Middle Class (a summary of the bill is attached):
“Four years ago, Washington Democrats sold this country a bill of goods.
“Like a Ginsu knife pitchman, they promised that Obamacare would create jobs, and improve the economy, and lower premiums, and reduce health spending – all for the low, low price of not causing Americans to lose their insurance, or their doctors, or the hospitals they liked.
“Today, Americans know the truth: it was a sham. The Lie of the Year. Convenient deceits told to advance the Far Left’s agenda.
“The people we represent just want the pain of Obamacare to go away. But the Democrats who run Washington, they’ve got other ideas – and just yesterday, they rolled out the red carpet for a sequel.
“That’s just what we saw when the Obama Administration announced the latest front in its War on Kentucky Coal Jobs.
“The newest attack is the most extreme yet.
“The President wants Americans to believe that his national energy tax can somehow heal the planet and regulate the oceans. And he wants you to believe that it can be done without harming Middle Class families – that, in fact, his massive regulatory scheme will create jobs, and bring billions in economic benefits, and shrink – you heard that right, shrink – Americans’ energy bills.
“Well, if you believe that, I’ve got some Obamacare to sell you.
“This is the same President, remember, who boasted as a candidate that his energy tax policies would make electricity prices ‘skyrocket.’
“And the truth is, the President’s energy tax won’t even have an appreciable effect on global carbon emissions anyway. President Obama’s last Environmental Protection Agency head told us as much: ‘U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels.’ That’s a quote from her.
“Because you need emissions-heavy countries like India and China on board first.
“That’s just a scientific fact. Though I suspect our friends on the Left will conveniently ignore it.
“Because the point of this whole exercise is sadly obvious: it’s not really about science or global warming at all, it’s about making privileged elitists – elitists who may not feel the pinch of a higher utility bill or the pain of a lost job – feel like they ‘did something.’
“And there’s another reason why the echoes of Obamacare here are so unmistakable: the President’s national energy tax represents a direct attack on the American Middle Class.
“Experts say it would devastate entire swaths of our economy and could lead to a loss of nearly a half million jobs, according to one AFL-CIO labor union estimate. In fact, the head of that union, the United Mine Workers of America, said this energy tax would lead to ‘long-term and irreversible job losses.’
“The national energy tax would also ship Middle Class jobs overseas, shatter our manufacturing base, and drive up energy costs for families. It’s a dagger aimed right at the heart of the American Middle Class, at a time when our constituents are already struggling under the weight of so many of this Administration’s other failed policies.
“Let’s not forget: opportunity has already decreased for too many families under this President’s watch. Millions of our friends and neighbors are still out of work. And the economy is at a standstill.
“And this is President Obama’s plan” To squeeze the Middle Class even harder and ship American jobs overseas?
“And to do it by going around Congress?
“It’s clear that the President is trying to impose this national energy tax via executive order because he knows the representatives of the people would never vote for it. He knows that Congress already rejected a similar national energy tax when he tried it last term too.
“Maybe he’s avoiding legislative accountability because he knows his energy tax is cruel too – because he knows it would have an especially devastating impact on the most vulnerable members of our society: the poor, the unemployed, and seniors on a fixed income.
“It’s a curious thing: the same elites who like to lecture us from their privileged perches about helping others.these are often the same people who seem to care least about who their extreme policies hurt.
“To them, the American people are just the hoi polloi, the ‘commoners’ who these elites think need their enlightened guidance.
“That’s especially true when it comes to coal mining families in my state. Good people who this administration hasn’t even bothered to hear from.
“Kentucky miners know that coal keeps the lights on. All they want to do is provide for their families and put food on the table.
“They’ve committed no crime. They’ve done nothing wrong. But the Obama Administration has declared a ‘war’ on them just the same. A White House advisor was quoted as saying that a War on Coal is ‘exactly what’s needed.’
“These are callous positions, to be sure. But they’re easy things to say when you live hundreds of miles away – when you don’t have to live with the real-world consequences of your Ivory Tower ideological fantasies; when you don’t have to see the raw human cost of your schemes.
“That certainly was the approach the Administration took when it scheduled listening sessions to discuss its anti-coal regulations. It only wanted to hear applause from fellow left-leaning elites – so it didn’t schedule a single listening session in Coal Country.
“Not even one.
“Here’s what one miner said at a coal listening session I hosted in Eastern Kentucky – after the Administration refused to come: ‘Our biggest worries now are just trying to keep a roof over our heads [and] food on the table.’
“He’s not alone.
“And he needs to know this: We on this side of the aisle hear him. We’re not going to let this Administration’s anti-Middle Class policies go unchallenged.
“That’s why today I’m introducing legislation, the Coal Country Protection Act, that would push back against the President’s extreme anti-coal scheme. It would require that simple but important benchmarks be met before his rules could take effect:
. The Secretary of Labor would have to certify that it would not generate loss of employment.
. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office would have to certify that it would not result in any loss in American gross domestic product.
. The Administrator of the Energy Information Administration would have to certify that it would not increase electricity rates.
nd the Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the President of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation would have to certify that electricity delivery would remain reliable.
“It’s just common sense. And that’s why I call upon the Democrat Majority Leader to schedule a vote on this legislation immediately – and to help us pass it too.
“Because Kentucky mining families are counting on him. So are countless Middle Class families in my state and across the country who stand to get hurt by this Administration’s cold ideological attacks.
“And if the Majority Leader and Senate Democrats stand in the way of passing this bill, Kentuckians and the American people will remember who stood with them and who worked against them. And I imagine they’d want to send a majority to Washington that would actually work for the Middle Class for a change, instead of hurting seniors and shipping jobs overseas.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to this.
“The President’s national energy tax is Obamacare 2.0.
“It’s a massive, big-government boondoggle that’s being marketed as something it isn’t.
“It’s an idea that won’t even solve the larger problem it purports to address.
“And it will hurt the Middle Class.
“So the President can pretend his national energy tax is about helping the environment, but we know better.
“It’s not going to do a thing to meaningfully control global carbon emissions.
“This is really about growing government. It’s really about making left-wing elitists feel better about themselves. And it’s really about helping political supporters in places like California and New York while inflicting serious pain on people in places like Kentucky.
“Well, I’m going to continue to fight. Kentuckians deserve no less.
“I’m going to keep vigorously fighting against the Obama Administration’s continued War on Coal Jobs – and this extreme, anti-Middle Class national energy tax in particular.”
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