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Making Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2014 -- Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. McCONNELL. The Obama White House likes to pretend that its war on coal is about protecting the planet. Yet his newest regulations would hardly do a thing to impact global carbon emissions.

The President's own EPA Administrator basically admitted it when she said a few years back that U.S. action alone won't meaningfully impact global CO

2 levels.

They don't seem to care that their regulations would devastate the lives of whole families in my State, working-class Kentuckians who just want to put food on the table and give their children a better life.

They don't seem to care that their regulations threaten to undermine Kentucky's traditionally low utility rates, splinter our manufacturing base, and shift well-paying jobs overseas. They don't seem to care that the people who stand to be hurt most by their regressive policies are those who can afford it the least.

As a candidate President Obama wasn't just open about his plan to make American energy bills skyrocket, he was pretty cavalier about it too. For him it was a necessary sacrifice to achieve an ideological aim.

But for a working mom in Ashland, KY, a skyrocketing utility bill can mean the difference between an annual trip to Lake Cumberland and a tearful apology to her kids. It can mean choosing which bills to pay this month and which to put off just a little longer. It can mean birthday disappointments and missed credit card payments.

These types of consequences may not be a big deal to the President, but for many people in the country and many in Kentucky, they are a very big deal. Families have had to put up with enough in nearly 6 years that this administration has been in power: higher medical costs, stubborn unemployment, and the feeling of less opportunity.

What I am saying is middle-class families deserve a break. They deserve to have Washington battling in their corner instead of against them. That is why I keep fighting this war on coal.

Later this morning I will take my message to one of the administration's so-called listening sessions on these extreme energy regulations. The Obama administration may have been too afraid to hold a hearing anywhere near coal country, but that doesn't mean they will be able to ignore the voice of my constituents. I will be joined by Kentuckians who have had to travel hundreds of miles just to get here.

One of them is Jimmy Rose, the former coal miner from Pineville who rose to national attention with his song: ``Coal Keeps the Lights On.'' As Jimmy puts it: ``Coal keeps the bills paid, clothes on the backs, and shoes on the feet.'' And that is true for so many in our State.

I will note the irony that the administration's so-called listening session in Atlanta had to switch locations due to a significant power outage.

As one person put it, the power outage is either cruel irony or a glimpse of coming cruel reality; that is, of course, if the Obama administration and the EPA are successful in their quest to end the use of affordable, reliable coal. It is hard to disagree.

The point is the President's extreme energy regulations are little more than a political turnout strategy masquerading as a serious environmental policy. Not only could they end up making the environment worse rather than better but they threaten to hurt countless middle-class families in the process while shipping American jobs overseas.

So they need to be stopped. The administration needs to be stopped. Kentuckians aren't going to take this lying down. We are going to keep fighting back.

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