House Republicans on Tuesday released legislation that would slash the operating budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by 9 percent, which the GOP says is needed to stop the EPA’s “unnecessary regulatory expansion.”
Republicans on the Appropriations Committee released their proposed interior and environment spending bill for 2015, which members will start to work on this week.
The full bill spends a total of $30.2 billion, which is $162 million more than the current fiscal year. But the EPA’s portion of the bill would be cut by $717 million compared to current levels.
That would put the EPA’s operating budget next year at $7.5 billion.
“Administrative funding for the agency is cut by $24 million, including a 50 percent reduction to the Office of the Administrator, the Office of Congressional Affairs, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer,” the committee said in a statement describing the bill. “In addition, staffing levels at the EPA are held to 15,000, the lowest level since 1989. These reductions will help the agency streamline operations, and focus its activities on core duties, rather than unnecessary regulatory expansion.”
Republicans have repeatedly tried to rein in the EPA for releasing various regulations that they say hamstring the economy. Just last month, the EPA issued a rule that would impose tough new carbon emission controls on coal-fired power plants, a step the EPA said was needed because without such a step, “temperatures could rise 10 degrees and seas could rise by 4 feet.”
The GOP’s spending bill would prohibit this rule from being implemented, and would also block other controversial EPA rules.
“[T]his legislation contains important provisions to rein in the harmful regulatory overreach of federal bureaucracies that will unnecessarily cause job loss and that will weaken our recovering economy,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said.