Tom Daschle had gone looking for a Republican to switch parties and flip control of the Senate. His targets were Jeffords, Lincoln Chafee (RI), & John McCain (AZ). Daschle says of his meeting, "Jim had three primary concerns, and they could be summarized
as cows, committees, and co-workers."
"Cows" was the Northeast Dairy Compact, a price-fixing scheme that benefited northeastern milk producers but drove up the price of milk for consumers. Bush opposed it. Jeffords wanted assurances that Democrats woul
Since Jeffords would lose his Republican committee assignments if he switched, Democrats offered him a plum assignment, chairmanship of the Environmental and Public Works Committee. It was clear Jeffords was uncomfortable with Senate
Republican term limits that would force him to relinquish his HELP Committee chairmanship in 2002.
On co-workers, Democratic leaders assured him that all his staffers would have jobs. "With that we shook hands, and the deal was done," Daschle wrote.
Voted YES on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations.
A joint resolution disapproving the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 15, 2005, relating to the removal of coal- and oil-fired electric generating units from the list of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule:
Limits smokestack emissions in a two-phase program founded on a market based capping system
Calls for the first cap to limit mercury emissions to 38 tons in 2010
Requires the second and final cap to begin in 2018 and stay fix at 15 tons
Reference: EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule;
Bill S J Res 20
; vote number 2005-225
on Sep 13, 2005
Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior.
Vote to confirm the nomination of Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. [Ms. Norton generally favors conservative or libertarian stances on the environment.]
Voted NO on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat.
The Bryan Amdt (D-NV) offered an amendment to raise funding levels for Forest Service road maintenance and wildlife and fisheries habitat management programs. Senator Craig (R-ID) motioned to table this amendment. [A YES vote is considered pro-business].
Status: Table Motion Agreed to Y)54; N)43; NV)3
Reference: Motion to table Bryan Amdt. #1588;
Bill H.R. 2466
; vote number 1999-272
on Sep 14, 1999
Voted NO on transportation demo projects.
McCain amendment to the transportation reauthorization bill (S. 1173) would require that funding for demonstration projects be covered by their respective state allocations instead of being funded individually in the transportation bill.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: McCain Amdt #1726;
Bill S. 1173
; vote number 1998-29
on Mar 12, 1998
Voted YES on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests.
Vote on an amendment to cut the $47.4 million provided for Forest Service road construction by $10 million, and to eliminate the purchaser credit program [which provides credits to timber companies to offset what they owe the government].
Voted YES on continuing desert protection in California.
Invoking cloture on the California desert protection bill. ["Invoking cloture" means "ending the discussion and calling a vote." A NO vote in this case would continue discussing whether to terminate the existing program, and hence is considered pro-business and/or anti-environment].
Status: Cloture Agreed to Y)68; N)23; NV)9
Reference: California Desert Protection Act of 1993;
Bill S. 21
; vote number 1994-326
on Oct 8, 1994
Voted YES on requiring EPA risk assessments.
Require risk assessments of new EPA regulations.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)90; N)8; NV)2
Reference: Safe Drinking Water Act Amdt.s of '94;
Bill S. 2019
; vote number 1994-117
on May 18, 1994
Support UNCED Rio Declaration at 2002 conference.
Jeffords co-sponsored a resolution on World Summit on Sustainable Development
Expresses the sense of the Senate that having the President lead the U.S. delegation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development would send a strong signal of U.S. support.
Calls for the United States to: (1) take specified steps at the Summit, such as reaffirming its support for the implementation of commitments entered into at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), supporting efforts to improve the institutional structure for implementing the framework created by Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, remaining firmly opposed to commercial whaling, and supporting measures to increase the use of renewable sources of energy worldwide; and (2) provide leadership and pursue the negotiation of international agreements to address global climate change and to protect the marine environment.
Urges the President to identify priority international environmental agreements that the United States has signed during and following the UNCED that the Administration will present to the Senate for ratification.
Source: Resolution sponsored by 13 Senators 02-SR311 on Jul 30, 2002
EPA must do better on mercury clean-up.
Jeffords signed a letter from 45 Senators to EPA
To: Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Dear Administrator Leavitt:
We are writing to urge you to take prompt and effective action to clean up mercury pollution from power plants. The EPA’s current proposals on mercury fall far short of what the law requires, and they fail to protect the health of our children and our environment. We ask you to carry out the requirements of the Clean Air Act to protect our nation from toxic mercury contamination.
On January 30, 2004, EPA proposed two alternative rules to address mercury emissions. Unfortunately, both of these proposals fail to meet the Clean Air Act directives for cleaning up mercury. EPA's proposals permit far more mercury pollution, and for years longer, than the Clean Air Act allows.
The toxicity of mercury has been proven time and again by scientists around the world. The Agency's own scientists just released a study finding that approximately 630,000 infants were born in the US in the 12-month period,
1999-2000, with blood mercury levels higher than what is considered safe. This is a doubling of previous estimates.
The newest scientific studies show that controlling mercury emissions works. As we saw in Florida, sharp reductions in mercury pollution are mirrored by reductions in nearby fish populations. A study in northern Wisconsin indicated that reductions in the input of mercury from air corresponded with marked reductions in mercury fish tissue levels in the 1990s.
As the Administrator of the EPA, you have the legal authority and the responsibility to address mercury emissions and protect public health. We do not believe that EPA's current proposals are sufficient or defensible. We urge you to withdraw the entire proposed rule package and re-propose a rule for adequate public comment that meets the terms of the 1998 settlement agreement and is promulgated by the December 15, 2004 deadline.
Source: Letter from 45 Senators to EPA 04-SEN1 on Apr 1, 2004
Sponsored bill for commission to examine Katrina response.
Jeffords introduced establishing commission to examine Katrina response
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: To establish a congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Region, especially in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and other areas impacted in the aftermath, and make immediate corrective measures to improve such responses in the future.
EXCERPTS OF AMENDMENT:
There is established in the legislative branch the Katrina Commission:
The Commission shall be composed of 10 members, with not more than 5 members from any one political party.
Individuals appointed should enjoy significant depth of experience in such professions as natural disaster and emergency response experience.
The duties of the Commission are to ascertain, evaluate, and report on the information developed by all relevant governmental agencies regarding the facts and circumstances related to
Hurricane Katrina prior to striking the United States and in the days and weeks following;
build upon concurrent and prior investigations;
planning for future cataclysmic events requiring a significant marshaling of Federal resources, mitigation, response, and recovery to avoid significant loss of life;
an analysis as to whether any decisions differed with respect to response and recovery for different communities, neighborhoods, parishes, and locations and what problems occurred as a result of a lack of a common plan, communication structure, and centralized command structure; and
make recommendations for immediate corrective measures so that future cataclysmic events are responded to adequately.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Rollcall vote #229; lost 44-54.
Source: Establishment of Katrina Commission (S.AMDT.1660 to HR.2862) 05-SP1660 on Sep 8, 2005
Focus on results, not regulation.
Jeffords adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership issue stance:
Legislatively provide the EPA with a clear mission statement
Simplify environmental reporting requirements to focus on results, not regulations
Establish environmental improvement pilot programs at the state level
Devote increased resources to researching the causes and effects of global warming
Better understand -- and begin addressing -- the causes of and remedies to global warming
Source: Republican Main Street Partnership Issue Paper: Environment 98-RMSP1 on Sep 9, 1998
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