House Republicans released their proposal to balance the federal budget in 10 years, which included their plans to rein in the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Republicans plan three broad reforms for the EPA: reduce its funding, cut global warming programs, and eliminate the agency’s policy office.
“The Environmental Protection Agency has long overreached in its duties,” the House budget resolution, released Tuesday, reads.
“While everyone supports protecting the environment and promoting clean air and clean water, the states are better positioned to address their individual environmental concerns and balance those responsibilities with the concerns of workers, small-businesses, and manufacturers,” the resolution adds.
However, the House’s plan for the EPA would cut the agency’s budget 80 percent less than what the White house recommended in its May budget proposal.
A House appropriations bill introduced days ago gives the EPA a $7.5 billion budget in fiscal year 2018, or $528 million less than the agency’s 2017 budget. The bill also ignored many Trump administration requests to cut dozens of EPA programs. That bill is still making its way through committee.
The House appropriations bill would give $31.4 billion to federal environmental programs at the EPA, Department of the Interior, and other agencies. That’s $824 million below 2017 levels, but $4.3 billion less than the White House’s request.
The White House recommended cutting the EPA’s budget $2.6 billion, or more than 30 percent, along with eliminating dozens of programs, particularly those enforcing Obama-era regulations and climate programs.
The budget proposal also included plans to eliminate duplicative energy programs and wasteful spending to help get “federal government out of the way and allow the private sector to do its job and flourish.”
That effort largely focuses on reducing Energy Department spending energy subsidies and stopping the agency from issuing any more loan guarantees—the same program that funded Solyndra.
“Eliminating these Obama-era pet programs will help us reduce federal spending in the energy sector and promote private-sector energy production and innovation,” the House budget document reads.
Republicans claim that their plan would balance the federal budget within 10 years.
Democrats and environmentalists are already pushing back on the Republican resolution.
Statement: House Budget Resolution Sacrifices The Arctic Refuge, Clean Air, Clean Water For Big Polluter Profits. https://t.co/wCATFDgNFG
— Sierra Club (@SierraClub) July 18, 2017
House lawmakers will mark up the budget resolution Wednesday, and it’s expected to pass the chamber. Senate Democrats could pose problems for the budget resolution’s path to President Donald Trump’s desk.
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