News & Politics

Schumer Urges Biden to Declare a 'Climate Emergency'

Schumer Urges Biden to Declare a 'Climate Emergency'
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show that President Joe Biden should declare a “climate emergency” the same way Trump declared a national emergency to build the border wall.

Trump built the wall in response to a massive influx of refugees and illegal aliens at America’s southern border. But what “emergency” is present because of climate change?

This is exactly what Republicans feared. The presidency has enormous power and the chief executive doesn’t always need Congress to make trouble.

The Hill:

“He can do many, many things under the emergency powers … that he could do without legislation,” Schumer added about what authority Biden would have if he used his emergency powers.

“Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one,” Schumer added. …

“If today, the national emergency is border security … tomorrow the national emergency might be climate change,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told CNBC in 2019.

In truth, it didn’t take much prescience to know that what was good enough for a Republican president would be good enough for a Democratic one. Democrats would be smart to remember that rule as Biden seeks to run roughshod over Congress on several issues.

The Hill:

Schumer’s push comes as the president has already issued climate-related executive orders including rejoining the Paris climate agreement. The Washington Post reported on Monday night that he’ll also impose a moratorium this week on new federal oil and gas leases.

But Democrats have pledged to make climate change a top priority as they have control of both chambers in Congress and the White House for the first time in roughly a decade.

Democrats will seek to use Senate rules to bypass the filibuster and try to pass some of their radical agenda. They have already indicated that they will use the reconciliation process to pass Biden’s pandemic relief bill. Using it to pass climate bills may prove to be more difficult.

Only some spending bills are exempt from the filibuster. If the bill is declared “extraneous,” it is not eligible to be passed under the reconciliation process.

The “Byrd Rule,” named after Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, sets out 6 cases where a bill would be considered “extraneous”:

  1. If it does not produce a change in outlays or revenues;
  2. If it produces an outlay increase or revenue decrease when the instructed committee is not in compliance with its instructions;
  3. If it is outside the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted the title or provision for inclusion in the reconciliation measure;
  4. If it produces a change in outlays or revenues which is merely incidental to the non-budgetary components of the provision;
  5. If it would increase the deficit for a fiscal year beyond those covered by the reconciliation measure (usually a period of ten years); or
  6. If it recommends changes in Social Security.

That’s why any radical changes offered by the Democrats will probably not be eligible for reconciliation. There are strict budget constraints — especially in a climate bill — that Democrats will have trouble meeting.

Biden’s “climate emergency” won’t mean much in the real world. But in the fantasy world of global warming hysterics, it will be cheered.

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