In a recent article in The Intercept, a recording of an EEI lobbyist strategy phone conference reveals that investor owned utility schemers are hoping that the refugee crisis will give them the cover they need to block the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.
“We’re suddenly not the big issue,” said one call participant. “I mean, this is all going to turn on refugees.”
“I think that helps us,” said another call participant. “I think it helps us with the White House being on defense,” another legislative strategist on the call said.
In Washington, it's all about attaching unsavory things onto popular legislation that has nothing to do with the unsavory activities.
Lobbyists frequently use “must pass” legislation, such as raising the debt-ceiling and government appropriation bills, to enact proposals that would otherwise face a presidential veto. In the last omnibus spending bill, legislators slipped riders onto the bill that repealed rules that prevent banks from using taxpayer-backed funds from trading in derivatives, as well as more than $3 billion in weapons programs the Pentagon did not ask Congress to fund.
If congressional leaders attach provisions to the omnibus to block Syrian refugee settlement, the Obama administration may be forced to accept a compromise that allows for other legislative riders to sneak through.
The participants on the EEI call appeared eager to use the refugee fight to distract the administration.
“In our big meeting this morning, all our lobbyists, their report back from the Hill over the last couple of days in House and Senate is that offices have been saying they are hearing more on this refugee issue than they have heard on any other issue in the last eight years, more than Obamacare, more than anything,” one the legislative strategists remarked.
I particularly liked boingboing.net's take on the leaked phone recording. Using EEI's "mission" page, boingboing lifted a meme featuring a photo and quote of Thomas Edison:
What you are will show in what you do.
How do you chuckleheads sleep at night?