GOP would rather shut down the government than protect your air and water
Photo: Nathan ColquhounHouse Republicans, who have been spending much of the term so far creating jobs via strict regulation of women’s uteruses, are now doing their damnedest to create jobs via destroying the EPA. The plan is basically “1) thwart progressive ideals; 2) step 2; 3) jobs for everyone!” What if you don’t want a job on the Fallopian Patrol or the Pro-Pollution Brigade? Well, screw you, buddy, this is the only idea they have.
Tricky dicks: Rather than propose their environment-killing provisions individually, Republicans are sticking them in as amendments on spending legislation. It’s basically 10 pounds of sh*t in a five-pound bill.
Congressional Republicans this week added amendments to a spending bill that would knock out environmental protections for air, water and wilderness.
Among the amendments, which fill hundreds of pages, are ones that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting hazardous pollutants at power plants, from studying whether the farm herbicide atrazine has health hazards and from tightening rules on toxic coal ash. Many of the amendments would strip the agency of funds to carry out pollution restrictions that industries have fought.
It’s because the EPA hates jobs: According to Kansas Republican Mike Pompeo, the EPA, which employs 17,000 people, consists of a bunch of anti-job Marxists:
“EPA would, I am sure, tell you that they are simply collecting a little bit of data on greenhouse gases, that this registry is simply a very innocent effort to learn a little bit more about who is emitting greenhouse gases — who or what,” he said on the House floor.
“But this data is the very foundation of the EPA’s effort to pursue its radical anti-jobs agenda. Indeed, continuing the greenhouse gas registry at currently funded levels will permit the EPA regulatory nose inside the job-destroying tent. We cannot head down this path,” he added.
Prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating toxic air pollutants, including mercury (No. 201, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID)
Ban any contribution by the United States to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (No. 574, Rep. Pearce)
Prohibit the Environmental Appeals board from reviewing or rejecting permits for off-shore drilling (No. 533, Rep. Don Young, R-AK)
Cut EPA funds for curbing greenhouse gas emissions including carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons (No. 466, Rep. Ted Poe, R-TX)
Interfere with the EPA’s ability to limit toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants (No. 407, Rep. Ralph Hall, D-TX)
Bar the EPA from setting new health standards limiting coarse air particles (No. 563, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-SD)
Reduce the budgets of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service (No. 556, Rep. Steve Pearce, R-NM)
- Defund the Council on Environmental Quality, which coordinates environmental policy among all federal agencies (No. 202, Rep. Labrador)
Advice is for suckers: Another spectacularly well-conceived Republican plan blocks funding for the president’s advisor on climate change. Republicans like to call this position a “climate czar,” and czars are Russian, so obviously it’s a Communist position and should be eliminated! Much better for the administration to struggle forward without anyone to advise or guide climate policy — knowing nothing about climate change has worked just fracking fine for the Republicans, thanks very much.
The amendment, offered by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), specifically targets Obama’s “climate czar” by blocking funding for the assistant to the president for energy and climate change, the position’s official title. The amendment would block funding for the “czars” through the end of the fiscal year, when the spending bill would run out. The underlying bill also includes a provision to block funding for the position.
Screwing over the Earth is more important than ANYTHING EVER: The GOP is willing to go to the mat for this one. They’re so devoted to spending cuts — for things that progressives care about, obviously, not for sacred things like Army recruitment ads on NASCAR vehicles! — that they’re willing to shut down the government rather than give an inch.
Democrats say such drastic cuts would harm the fragile economic recovery. The White House has already threatened to veto it, and Senate Democrats have voiced strong objections. Senate Democrats are expected to put forward a temporary extension of the stopgap measure that would prevent a government shutdown and allow continued negotiations.
But at a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Boehner said Republicans would not accept a temporary extension without additional reductions. “When we say we’re going to cut spending,” Mr. Boehner said, “Read my lips: we’re going to cut spending.”
Mr. Boehner accused Democrats of seeking to shut the government to avoid making cuts.
Democrats have been warning for weeks that Republicans were willing to risk a shutdown by insisting on steep cuts without being willing to compromise.