This will be short. I do not consider it sweet.
In Virginia, the Governor can propose amendments to legislation as part of his vetoing or approving a bill and returning it to the veto session of the General Assembly. Gov. McDonnell has proposed requiring that the gun safety instruction in the elementary schools be required to use the curriculum of the National Rifle Association.
In Washington, Republican Senators have introduced legislation to block the White House from requiring federal agencies to consider climate change data in environmental impact statements.
I will provide more information below the fold.
PLEASE SEE UPDATE AT END, THANKS!
Let me start with McDonnell. The League of Women Voters of Virginia has sent around an email explaining what he is doing, from which I will quote the following, since it is an action item. The legislation as passed by the General Assembly includes this language:
The curriculum guidelines shall incorporate, among other principles of firearm safety, accident prevention and the rules upon which the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program offered by the National Rifle Association or the program of the National Crime Prevention Center is based.
McDonnell's proposed Amendment read simply
Strike or the program of the National Crime Prevention Center
thereby requiring the use of the NRA'S Eddie Eagle program.
The commentary by LWV-VA, which asks recipients of the email to contact their local legislators, includes the following:
Don't force Virginia public schools to present the National Rifle Association curriculum. Local school boards should have another option. The Mc Gruff "Take a Bite out of Crime" curriculum was included in the original bill. The Governor removed that option. At Wednesday's Veto Session, please vote against the Governor's amendment to House Bill 1217.
On to Senate Republicans. The source for this is the NY Times, Greenwire, a piece titled Senate Republicans Move to Bar NEPA Analysis of Climate Change Impacts. As you can imagine even from the little I have already described, the prime mover behind this is our old fave James Inhofe, this time with co-authors Dr. (!!!) John Barasso of WY and David (diapers) Vitter of LA, along with co-sponsors Mike Enzi (WY), James Risch (ID), Bob Bennett (UT), and Pat Roberts (KS). Allow me to offer just a few snips.
The Republican proposal says
the National Environmental Policy Act should not be used to document, predict or mitigate the climate effects of specific federal actions. Under the measure, NEPA reviews could not consider the greenhouse gas emissions of a proposed federal project nor climate change effects as related to the proposal's design, environmental impacts, or mitigation or adaptation measures.
"Requiring federal agencies to assess the global climate change impacts from building a road will only block construction of the road and the jobs and economic activity that go with it, with no discernible impact on global climate," Inhofe said in a statement. "The NEPA Certainty Act will put a stop to this and give employers, including small businesses, greater certainty in their hiring and economic planning."
Some very quick commentary on both items.
Republicans control the House of Delegates in Virginia. McDonnell's proposal will pass there. While Democrats have a narrow margin in the Senate, there are a number of pro-gun Democrats who, especially after last year's big Republican win, may well support the Governor. In other words, I expect this to become law. This is but a small taste of what Americans could be in for if we let Republicans regain controls of governmental levers.
I sincerely doubt the Inhofe et al proposal has much chance of passing. I suspect that Bennett is going along because of the very competitive primary (which he may well lose) in which he is currently engaged. It is not surprising to find Inhofe attempting this. I am not sure how this best plays politically, but at a time when the science is overwhelming about the impact of global warming, perhaps this is an issue that can be used to appeal to at least some independents.
I thought both items were worthy of being brought to people's attention, hence this diary.
UPDATE - look, I see something in common between these two actions. It is that Republicans are willing to try to IMPOSE their viewpoint on others. For me the issue is not having the Eddie Eagle program as one option if you are going to have mandatory gun safety instruction. It is the Governor moving unilaterally to impose that as the only choice, denying localities of a different persuasion the ability to choose an alternative. Inhofe does not believe in climate change, and thus wants to bar the government from considering it wherever possible, regardless of the scientific evidence, or the impact upon the nation.
I know that people feel strongly about guns. I do hope they will consider the environmental issue in the Senate as well. I also hope that people will see the danger of the kind of change, being made the way he is trying it, by McDonnell.