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For Your Information: President to Talk Climate Change at UN; Eisenhower Memorial Commission at an Impasse; Midterm Election Analysis; House Passes Energy Bill, Authorizes Keystone Pipeline

President to Talk Climate Change at UN

President Barack Obama will discuss initiatives aimed at controlling climate change at the United Nations on Tuesday. He is seeking to develop an international consensus on policies promoting green energies and cutting back carbon emissions. At the United Nations, the President will explain the actions he has taken to combat global warming and will call on other nations to take similar steps. Recently, the Obama Administration has issued a number of Executive actions on global warming. It also defended its proposal to lower carbon dioxide emissions by almost a third from what it was in 2005; power plants would be expected to reach that goal by 2030.

Obama Grasps for Climate Accord

Eisenhower Memorial Commission at an Impasse

The Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Commission still cannot resolve disputes over the plan to create a fitting tribute to the late general and President after its latest meeting last Wednesday. Eight Members of Congress sit on the planning board, but only Representative Sanford Bishop, a Democrat from Georgia, attended last week. Participants heard about proposed modifications to the original plan created by architect Frank Gehry, whose initial designs many, including members of President Eisenhower’s family, considered objectionable. The board also heard about another design not of Gehry’s making. Because the board lacked a quorum, no official votes could be taken. The memorial commission members will vote on whether to have the two plans discussed at the October 2 meeting of the National Capital Planning Commission.

Roll Call: Members of Congress Skip Confusing Eisenhower Memorial Meeting

Midterm Election Analysis

Both Chambers of Congress evacuated DC last week so Members could return home and campaign. Republicans are hopeful that they will be able to pick up the Senate, especially since the voters are likely to scratch the “six-year itch”: giving a number of seats to the opposition party during the President’s sixth year in office. One of the signs people suggest augurs a good year for the Republicans is the President’s low approval ratings. However, according to Damian Paletta of The Wall Street Journal, even if Republicans do gain ground, it may not be directly related to the President’s approval ratings. Even relatively popular Presidents like Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan saw their parties lose ground in Congress.

Although the Republicans are, in all likelihood, going to pick up seats in both Chambers, some wonder whether there will be a big “wave”. The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib argued that the battle for the Senate is still tight because there is not a single issue that is animating the electorate, as Obamacare did in 2010. Also, the Democrats have been effective in propping up endangered Senate incumbents, particularly through big ad buys. Finally, there is a general feeling of distaste for all things DC, so neither party is able to command the field.

The Wall Street Journal: Do Presidential Approval Ratings Really Matter in Midterm Elections?

The Wall Street Journal: Seib Video: Why the Senate Race Remains Close

House Passes Energy Bill, Authorizes Keystone Pipeline

The House passed the H.R.2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act on Thursday. The bill includes authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline and natural gas exports and imports to Canada and Mexico, and contains additional provisions meant to lower energy costs and promote job growth.

Many of the provisions of the bill had already been passed through the House and have stalled in the Senate, and this was a way to package them all together. According to Politico, at a Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday, Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings said, “We’ve sent it to them individually, now we can send it to them en masse. I would just offer this: if they have any ideas over there, then pass something and we can conference and figure out the difference.”

Friday marked the sixth anniversary of the submission of the proposal to build the Keystone Pipeline. To mark the date, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted on his blog about the pipeline and the passing of H.R. 2. He noted that, despite the State Department finding that the pipeline would not have a negative impact on the environment, President Barack Obama continues to stall its approval.  The blog post was accompanied by an infographic showing the benefits of the pipeline, including the generation of 42,100 jobs and approximately $2 billion in earnings.

Politico: Politico Morning Energy

Library of Congress: H.R.2

Majority Leader Blog: Keystone Has Been Delayed for Six Years

And for our latest post: Perry’s Veto Case: A New–and Potentially Dangerous–Form of Judicial Review?

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