Senate schedules vote on tariffs, lesser prairie chicken

By Manuel Quiñones, Nico Portuondo | 05/03/2023 06:34 AM EDT

The Senate will vote Wednesday on two resolutions that would undo Biden administration priorities.

Solar panels.

Lawmakers from both parties want the United States to impose new tariffs on solar imports from Asia. Paul Sancya/AP Photo

The Senate will vote Wednesday on two resolutions of disapproval against Biden administration regulations.

The chamber will vote on a House-passed measure against the Commerce Department’s decision to delay new tariffs on solar imports from Asia. Senators will also vote to undo new Fish and Wildlife Service protections for the lesser prairie chicken.

The solar resolution got bipartisan support in the House and will do so again in the Senate. Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Aging Chair Bob Casey (D-Pa.) are among the declared supporters.


“I’m very hopeful it’s gonna pass,” said sponsor Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). “It’s the right thing to do.”

President Joe Biden has threatened to veto the measure and backers don’t seem to have the support necessary to force the White House to change course.

Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) spoke together at the Senate Democratic Caucus lunch on Tuesday to advocate against Scott’s resolution, arguing that eliminating the pause would devastate the solar industry and, as a result, lead to American job losses.

“It’s going to really stall the industry in ways we can’t afford to do,” said Rosen.” And I can tell you in Nevada a lot of small businesses will close down if they can’t get their panels.”

Several Democratic senators on Tuesday said they still remain undecided, including Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), whose home states have large solar manufacturing hubs.

“[Georgia] now produces more domestic solar panels than anybody else,” Warnock said. “I think we’re on the right path here, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we stay on that path.”

Scott also wasn’t sure if Republicans were completely united in supporting his resolution. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is a traditional supporter of the solar industry and has joined Democrats in fighting against the implementation of solar tariffs.

Prairie chicken

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who sponsored the resolution to undo Endangered Species Act designations for the lesser prairie chicken, said earlier this week he was optimistic about success on Capitol Hill.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) said Tuesday he was undecided, adding that he could “see both sides of it.”

“I know the lesser,” he said. “I’ve looked into the eyes of the lesser prairie chicken.”

Hickenlooper said he became familiar with the species when, as governor, he formed an alliance of hunters, anglers, oil and gas drillers, farmers, ranchers, environmentalists and conservationists to do “everything we can to make sure these animals multiply and expand.”

“That’s what we got to get to,” the Democrat said.

“Is this the right way to do it right now?” he asked. “I’ve got to go back and look at the science.”

Reporter Kelsey Brugger contributed.