One of fascinating parts about last week's work in the House on budget cuts was the level of political energy directed by Republicans at the Environmental Protection Administration.
Along with making a cut of $1.6 billion in the EPA's budget, the GOP spending plan had a number of amendments that would block the EPA from pursuing a series of regulatory efforts:
* Cut $8.4 million for the EPA's "Greenhouse Gas Registry"
* Block an EPA rule that limits emissions of cement industry
* Stops EPA rules on certain coal mining procedures
* Blocks money for EPA waivers related to ethanol
* Bars the EPA from revoking Clean Water Act permits
* Stops EPA rules on fossil fuel combustion waste
* Cuts $10 million in EPA grants
* Blocks EPA regulations on Chesapeake Bay cleanup
* Block new EPA clean water guidelines in Florida
It was a fresh reminder that 'elections have consequences.'
"This EPA rule will be an unmitigated job killer," said David McKinley (R-WV), who targeted EPA regulations on fossil fuel combustion waste, who accused the EPA of trying to "advance an ideologically motivated agenda."
Republicans were already gunning for the EPA on a number of fronts related to climate change/global warming/greenhouse gas issues, but a lot more than that was addressed in this budget cutting bill.
But as we move across the Capitol to the U.S. Senate for this budget fight, it seems almost inconceivable that Democrats will allow any of these regulatory reversals to be approved anytime soon.
The Senate is not in session this week, so no action will start on this front for at least a week. Even then, Democrats have no real incentive to move quickly on GOP cuts or these regulatory riders, as they would only apply to the rest of this fiscal year, which runs out on September 30.
What we may see in the months ahead is a repeat of last week's budget debate in the House, as Republicans press their agenda on a number of fronts, and Democrats play defense in the Senate on those same issues.
Still, it's clear that outside of the Obama health law, the EPA may be as close to a political dirty word as you can get, especially if you're on the side of the GOP.
One of fascinating parts about last week's work in the House on budget cuts was the level of political energy directed by Republicans at the Environmental Protection Administration.Along with making a cut of $1.6 billion in the EPA's budget, the GOP spending plan had a number of amendments that would ...
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