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Coats wins approval for plan on transparency

The Senate this weekend approved one fiscal 2014 budget amendment offered by Sen. Dan Coats. R-Ind., and rejected another.

During a series of votes Friday night and early Saturday on budget amendments, the chamber gave unanimous consent to Coats’ debt transparency proposal. It would require the Congressional Budget Office to report the estimated per-taxpayer cost any year the president’s budget is projected to be in deficit. Similar legislation, sponsored by Rep. Luke Messer, R-6th, has won House approval.

In a 53-46 roll-call vote, the Senate defeated a Coats amendment to give electric utility power plants more time to comply with an Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting emissions of mercury and other toxins. The rule takes effect in April 2015 but includes a one-year extension if approved by state authorities.

“Failing to provide this flexibility could threaten American jobs, hike utility rates and jeopardize the stability of the electric grid,” Coats said in a written statement after the vote.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., was among four Democrats who voted in favor of Coats’ proposal.

bfrancisco@jg.net

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