Congress moves to cut EPA funding, block regulations
- Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House and Senate advanced proposals this week to cut the budgets of the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency, and block the implementation of environmental regulations prioritized by the Obama White House.
- Legislation passed Tuesday by the House Appropriates Committee and a Senate spending panel would prevent the EPA from writing new rules on ground-level ozone pollution, and block it from enforcing carbon emissions mandates under the Clean Power Plan in states that object to the rule.
- The proposals in the House and Senate differ only in a few million dollars of funding, The Hill reports, and both would also block the EPA from enforcing its recently released water regulations, as well as the pollution rules.
Republicans and some conservative Democrats in both houses of Congress are making good on their pledges to fight the EPA's new climate and air pollution regulations, advancing proposals to cut the agency's budget and block new rules they say will be bad for American business.
The Senate version of the proposal funds the EPA, Interior Department and other related agencies at $30.01 billion and the House funds them at $30.17 billion, more than $700 million less than they were given this year. The Senate bill marks the first time an EPA funding proposal went through a subcommittee in six years, the Hill reports.
Republicans in both chambers applauded the proposals for curbing what they see as excessive overreaches by the EPA in regulating both air and water pollutants. Democrats slammed the proposals, saying they injected ideological provisions into spending bills where they do not belong.
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who serves on the spending panel that approved the proposal by voice vote, told The Hill that he will try to remove the provisions in the proposal that curb new EPA regulations, but will withhold those amendments until the full Appropiations Committee is set to vote on the bill.
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