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Senate GOP Says No to Al Gore-Global Warming Concert at Capitol

by John Bresnahan

You probably didn't notice it (since readers of The Crypt have actual lives), but late Friday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to get Senate Republicans to allow former Vice President Al Gore to stage a global warming concert on Capitol grounds. But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to Reid's request, and the resolution authorizing the concert, for now, remains stuck in the Rules and Administration Committee.

Specifically, what Reid tried to do was get an unanimous consent agreement approving S. Con. Res. 24, which would permit Live Earth and the Alliance for Climate Protection, which Gore runs, to stage a July 7 concert on Capitol grounds. Live Earth is staging concerts that day on all seven continents, including Antarctica (yes, Antarctica too. If you don't believe me, go look it up. And don't place any nasty comments on here about me being an idiot). Reid and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have introduced the resolution allowing the concert to take place (see below), and it was referred to the Rules Committee. It's still there, thanks to McConnell's objection, and he apparently wants the panel to look into the matter before he signs off on it.

McConnell, though, said his objection only covered "the time being," so I don't know if that means he and other GOP leaders think it's a good idea or not. I haven't had time to ask him or his staff, but I will and get back to you.

So, for all the wonks out there like me who get off on this stuff, here's a copy of the resolution. Note that the concert won't cost taxpayers anything, since Live Earth and the Alliance for Climate Protection will reimburse the Capitol Police for the cost of security during the concert.

Anyway, this is the Gore-concert resolution in its entirety:

S. Con. Res. 24

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring),

SECTION 1. AUTHORIZATION OF USE OF CAPITOL GROUNDS FOR LIVE EARTH CONCERT.

(a) In General.--The Live Earth organization and the Alliance for Climate Protection (in this resolution referred to as the ``sponsors'') may sponsor the Live Earth Concert (in this resolution referred to as the ``event'') on the Capitol Grounds.

(b) Date of Event.--The event shall be held on July 7, 2007, or on such other date as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate jointly designate.

SEC. 2. TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

(a) In General.--Under conditions to be prescribed by the Architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police Board, the event shall be--

(1) free of admission charge and open to the public; and

(2) arranged not to interfere with the needs of Congress.

(b) Expenses and Liabilities.--The sponsors shall assume full responsibility for all expenses and liabilities incident to all activities associated with the event.

SEC. 3. EVENT PREPARATIONS.

(a) Structures and Equipment.--Subject to the approval of the Architect of the Capitol, the sponsors may cause to be placed on the Capitol grounds such stage, seating, booths, sound amplification and video devices, and other related structures and equipment as may be required for the event, including equipment for the broadcast of the event over radio, television, and other media outlets.

(b) Additional Arrangements.--The Architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police Board may make any additional arrangements as may be required to carry out the event.

SEC. 4. SECURITY AND ENFORCEMENT OF RESTRICTIONS.

(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), the Capitol Police Board shall provide for--

(1) all security related needs at the event, and

(2) enforcement of the restrictions contained in section 5104(c) of title 40, United States Code, concerning sales, displays, advertisements, and solicitations on the Capitol Grounds, as well as other restrictions applicable to the Capitol Grounds in connection with the event.

(b) Agreement for Reimbursement of Security Related Costs .--

(1) IN GENERAL.--The sponsors shall enter into an agreement with the Architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police Board under which the sponsors agree to--

(A) reimburse the United States Capitol Police for all costs incurred (including additional personnel costs and overtime) in meeting the security related needs at the event, and

(B) comply with the requirements of this section.

(2) FAILURE TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENT.--If the sponsors fail, or are unable, to enter into the agreement under paragraph (1) before the date which is 14 days before the scheduled date of the event, the authority under section 1 to hold the event on the Capitol Grounds is revoked.

(3) TREATMENT OF REIMBURSED AMOUNTS.--Any amounts received by the Capitol Police for reimbursement under paragraph (1) shall be credited to the accounts established for the expenses that are being reimbursed and shall be available to carry out the purposes of such accounts.

© 2007 Capitol News Company, LLC

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