The possibility of a government shutdown is only contributing to the uncertainty of the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans for regulating greenhouse gases.

All week, as time ticked away and the threat of a government shutdown loomed, both the Senate and House of Representatives grappled with attempts to keep the EPA from regulating carbon pollution.

By midweek, when there were still 72 hours to work with before the shutdown deadline, the Senate decided to consider four different measures aimed at restricting the EPA’s plans for regulation of carbon emissions. All four attempts came up short of getting the required 60 votes to pass a possible filibuster threat. To the casual observer, the defeat of these measures may indicate that similar efforts would not be worth the time and effort to deal with, especially with the shutdown deadline approaching. But that notion did not seep into the lower chamber.

On Thursday, with just 48 hours to go before the shutdown deadline and less than 24 hours after the Senate’s rejection of the four aforementioned bills, it was the House of Representatives that took its swipe at EPA. The house voted 255-172 in support of a bill that rejects the EPA’s desire to regulate emissions that pose a threat to public health.

So this is what Congress was up to in the hours before the shutdown deadline. They worked on measures that they knew would never be enacted into law.

As shutdown deadline loomed, Congress tried to weaken EPA
With no time to waste, Congress spent plenty of time on measures it knew would not become law.