Editorial: Standing Up for the People

Swift, decisive action has enabled President Barack Obama to shove Congress aside on several issues about which the will of the people should rule - by the design put in place by our nation's founders. Now, the president may have met his match.

This week Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., introduced a resolution of disapproval regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed new limits on carbon emissions for existing power plants. Also this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put forth a similar resolution affecting new power plants. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is a co-sponsor of both measures and Capito is a co-sponsor of the McConnell bill.

Without gaining acquiesence, much less formal approval, from Congress, Obama's EPA has promulgated a number of regulations targeting the coal industry. That happened after, early in his tenure, Obama proposed the infamous cap-and-trade anti-coal bill and saw it voted down in the Senate.

Obama's obvious goal is to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as he can. Already, in anticipation of EPA rules that seemed inevitable, utilities have shut down hundreds of coal-fired generating units.

Obama and his fellow radical environmentalists simply do not care about the financial damage their vendetta will do to tens of millions of Americans through much higher electric bills. Likewise, pleas that entire states will be devastated have fallen on deaf ears.

At one time, Obama and the EPA seemed unstoppable. For part of the president's term, Democrats who sided with the president controlled both houses of Congress. Even after Republicans gained majorities, liberals threatened to use techniques such as the filibuster to block bills aimed at reining in the EPA. Obama vowed to veto any such legislation.

But the tactic being used by Capito, McConnell and their co-sponsors should overcome one obstacle.

Resolutions of disappoval cannot be filibustered. They can be put in effect by simple majorities - 51 votes in the Senate. Capito has 48 co-sponsors. McConnell has 47. They should be able to pick up enough votes to pass the measures. One should be Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, not currently listed as a co-sponsor of either resolution.

Capito and McConnell are striking decisively and should move quickly to gain Senate approval of the resolutions. Then, led by West Virginia's delegation, the House of Representatives should follow suit.

It is time for Congress to stand up for itself, for the form of government the founders intended, by rejecting Obama's imperial presidency. Just as important, it is time for lawmakers to stand up for their constituents.

Source: The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register