Carbon Tax Amendments Fail

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) caught the public's eye when he proposed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 budget to put the Senate on record against any future tax or fees on carbon dioxide emissions.

carbon tax, carbon tax amendment, cap and tradeBlunt's budget amendment, a response to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's (D-R.I.) proposed fund for carbon taxes, provided a point of order against a national carbon tax or fee on carbon emissions.

Sen. Blunt said Whitehouse's proposal would hurt America's ability to compete in energy.

While Whitehouse's proposal received just 41 votes out of 60 necessary to pass an amendment, 53 senators voted in favor of Sen. Blunt's Amendment No. 261, with 46 Senate Democrats opposed.

Sen. Blunt expressed disappointment with the opposition, saying he wanted to protect Americans from skyrocketing energy prices.

"As we try to jumpstart our economy, the last thing families and job creators need are higher energy costs," Sen. Blunt said. "A carbon tax would lead to significant job losses and would force every American to pay more for electricity, natural gas, and gasoline."

Hundreds of amendments on all sorts of issues were offered during a "vote-a-rama" on March 22, 2013.

According to MapLight data, each senator who voted for the amendment has received more money from interests that support it than from interests that oppose it. 

Additional Data on Votes for Amendment No. 261:

  • Senators voting in favor of the amendment have received, on average, $123,842 from interests supporting the amendment, 85% more than from those opposing.
  • Senator Roy Blunt, the amendment's sponsor, has received $340,300 from interests supporting his amendment (including oil and gas, manufacturing, and airlines) and $0 from opposing interests (environmental policy).
  • Current members of the Senate have received $9,697,330 from interests supporting the amendment.
  • Current members of the Senate have received $4,338,856 from interests opposing the amendment.
  • Senators voting in favor of the amendment have received, on average, 5 times as much from oil and gas interests than senators voting against it.