- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 18, 2010

VICE PRESIDENT

Biden: ‘Tea party’ isn’t racist

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. says the “tea party” movement is conservative and has very different ideas about government, but it’s not a racist organization.

Mr. Biden told ABC’s “This Week” that some people who’ve participated in tea party events or who’ve been on the periphery of these events have made “really unfortunate comments.”

But he says that he and President Obama don’t think the tea party is racist.

SENATE

McConnell: GOP opposes broad energy bill

Republicans “are happy” to consider legislation tied to the BP oil spill, but will not support a U.S. energy bill that includes climate regulations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday.

Congress is considering several dozen bills to prevent another disaster like the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but broad legislation that would regulate greenhouse-gas emissions has stalled in the Senate.

“We are happy to look at oil-spill legislation … . There are some things we can do [on an energy bill],” Mr. McConnell told CNN’s “State of the Union” program, when asked whether the Kentucky Republican’s party could support some of President Obama’s agenda.

A climate-change and alternative-energy bill passed the House last year, with minimal Republican support. It mandated a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020, from 2005 levels.

But Mr. McConnell said Republicans in the Senate would oppose climate regulations in an energy bill, which he described as an energy tax on the nation.

A scaled-back climate-change bill that Senate Democrats are considering would achieve far less than Obama promised at a U.N. global-warming conference last year - but even this may be too much for Congress.

The White House has said an energy bill is a top legislative priority this summer.

Without legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency could go ahead early next year with new regulations on carbon pollution that are already facing legal challenges.

Story Continues →