by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Editors at the Washington Examiner outline an important task for U.S. House Republicans.
Despite the lengthy battle Speaker Kevin McCarthy needed to take control of the chamber, House Republicans have already netted some impressive victories. They forced President Joe Biden to issue his first veto to protect his costly and wrongheaded environmental, social, and governance regulations that will raise domestic energy prices and slash pensioners’ income from retirement investments.
House Republicans also shielded the District of Columbia from a woefully weak crime bill that would have encouraged violence and theft. Not even Biden could defend the D.C. Council’s dangerous legislation — he was forced to flip-flop from supporting D.C.’s Democrats to siding with the commonsense tough-on-crime policies of the Republican Party.
But rolling back bad federal regulations and rejecting bad D.C. Council laws are not the same as legislating. House Republicans have yet to show they can get their act together as a team to secure a legislative victory that would benefit the nation as a whole.
That could change this week as the House takes up H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act. This is something House Republicans urgently need to pass. The bill is full of smart policy changes, including a ban on states blocking interstate infrastructure projects (such as transmission and pipelines), a $6 billion tax cut on natural gas production, and fairer revenue-sharing between states and the federal government from energy produced on public lands.
The bill cuts $27 billion in EPA slush funds that were part of Biden’s inflation-causing Inflation Reduction Act and repeals Biden’s bans on fracking and natural gas exports and imports.
More importantly, the bill takes aim at the single biggest factor making U.S. infrastructure projects unnecessarily expensive: the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act. This lets environmental activists block any infrastructure project that uses even a dime of federal monies or requires the approval of even one federal agency.