The success of a challenge to President Obama's Clean Power Plan may be determined by Illinois' Republican U.S. Senator.
The Senate is set to vote today on a rarely used tool called a Congressional Review Act (CRA), which can block rules issued by federal agencies. In this case, the CRA would overturn regulations seeking to cut carbon emissions by existing power plants by 2030.
One of the few unconfirmed votes on the issue in the Republican majority is U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). One of his potential opponents in next year's election, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), is calling on him to vote against blocking the rule.
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"Legislators who oppose the Clean Power Plan are not representing the wishes of their constituents or looking out for the best interests of our kids," Duckworth said. "They're simply doing the bidding of powerful dirty energy interests."
The CRA would still have to be approved by the House and have enough support to override a likely veto by President Obama. If successful, the maneuver would not only effectively kill the Clean Power Plan, but prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from proposing a similar rule in the future.