Republicans: We don't need EPA regulations
Ethanol is expected to be at or near the top of the list of targets for federal subsidy cuts.
To many business owners, House Republicans this weekend were like the brave men of the Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: They chopped the tentacles off the giant regulatory squid that is squeezing the life out of free enterprise.
In the predawn hours of Saturday morning, the House voted to cut $61 billion in federal spending over the rest of this fiscal year, which ends September 30. The legislation included provisions that would block funding for implementation of health care reform and bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions. The EPA also would see its budget slashed by nearly 30 percent. The bill also would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from proceeding with network neutrality regulations for the Internet and block the Consumer Product Safety Commission from setting up a database of product-safety complaints.
This bill is unlikely to be enacted, however. President Barack Obama said he would veto it, and most senators think both the spending cuts and the antiregulatory provisions are too extreme. A compromise is inevitable, but the road to a deal may be bumpy—there may be even a government shutdown if the House and the Senate can’t agree on another temporary bill funding federal agencies by March 4, when the current stopgap budget bill expires.
Even though many of the antiregulatory provisions in the House bill may never go into effect, conservative business groups were pleased they were included in the legislation.
John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, said thinks blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases is shortsighted. These kind of regulations not only are the right thing to do for the environment, they also will stimulate jobs in new industries, he said. Since 1970, when the Clean Air Act went into effect, more than 1.3 million jobs have been created in the environmental-technology industry, he notes.
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