Harry Reid (D-NV, for now) cobbled together new Senate energy legislation that was to be debated this week, but it’s already on the shelf. Vulnerable Democrats shied away from it, and not a single Republican would stand in support of the bill. The “party of “no” ” is protecting us still from bad legislation.
Perhaps Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) summarized it best –
“Sen. Reid is predictably blaming Republicans for standing in the way of a bill that he threw together in secret and without input from almost any other member of the Senate. Process alone guaranteed its failure, although substance would have as well had Sen. Reid actually brought his bill up for debate or a vote,” Murkowski said.
“The truth is he saw the writing on the wall. The Republican proposal is far more responsible and far less costly than the Democrat bill,” Murkowski said. “The Majority Leader didn’t pull his bill because of Republican opposition, he pulled it because his fellow Democrats were deserting him, planning to vote against it and supported the concepts of the Republican bill.”
Reid introduced this legislation as a “take it or leave it” proposal, refusing to let it be subject to amendment from the Chamber. Republicans had alternatives to offer, but Reid refused to let them be presented. Rather, he is simply blaming Republican opposition for his inability to lead the Senate into any kind of response to the Gulf oil spill of April 20. That’s three and a half months of nothing.
And just what wonderful new forms of governance does this bill contain? As you would expect, it contains massive federal government expenditures, gargantuan intrusions into your personal life, and focused incentive plans to stifle free market economics.
For example, the bill includes $25million for the federal government to purchase a fleet of Chevy Volt’s from General Motors, which coincidentally, the federal government owns a 61% share of. It includes funds to give, at little or no cost, 400,000 more such cars to people living in “selected communities diverse in population” and “demographics.”
Doesn’t that bear the familiar stench of vote buying?
Want to remodel or add onto your home? This bill would require that any such modifications or additions include the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles. That’s not just if you think you’ll want an electric car one day, and it’s not just if you are adding or improving a garage. A game room in the attic, new shop out back, or a new bedroom for a growing family initiate the requirement as well.
One section of the legislation is dedicated to the new federal building code which takes precedence over state and local codes (an ongoing trend, it seems, is for federal legislation to stomp on areas heretofore managed quite effectively at local levels) and attempts to coerce homeowners into spending great deals of money on environmental compliance upgrades before the government starts measuring your carbon footprint by way of “smart” electric meters which were mandated in a 2005 energy law. “Rewards” will be given for significant reductions in carbon emissions, and rebates are made available for installing more energy efficient windows, doors, roofing, insulation, etc.
Not enough? If you can’t afford the investment required to reap these rewards, the bill identifies Fannie Mae as the official lender for home efficiency loans!
One aspect of the legislation would actually be good for Louisiana. As the White House has declared war on Louisiana, this was obviously a mistake, but the bill includes incentives to convert fleet vehicles to compressed natural gas, and significant grants to service station owners to install CNG refueling facilities.
But CNG makes economic sense, and the free market is driving wise fleet operators in that direction without the help of Harry Reid offering taxpayer funded incentives.
Fortunately for America, Prince Harry can’t muster the votes to pass this odorous vessel of bovine excrement. The Senate will recess after this week, returning home to face the music of the November mid-term elections, and he’s said this will have to wait until after they return.
Doesn’t that really make you look forward to the lame duck session in November? At that time, the Senate can pass such legislation as this, and cap & trade, send it all to committee to hammer out the differences with House legislation, pass it with nothing left to lose, and leave their legacy on America.
Is that their strategy? Maybe, but more likely this legislation was proposed with no consideration of floor amendments in order to orchestrate Republicans into saying “no” so Democrats can go home to face the electorate with their fingers pointed at “those damned Republicans.”
Those damned Republicans. Let’s fill Washington up with them in November.