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Congress will then need to approve a budget to keep the federal government - including the EPA - open. But the word from GOP leadership is that it just wants to pass a clean bill with no appropriations riders or other strings attached. This apparently is part of the leadership’s longer-term strategy to reduce federal spending.

While that is a noble endeavor, so is preventing the EPA from killing jobs and interfering with our fragile economy.

Having witnessed Republicans wilt from EPA reform in 1995, when then-EPA administrator Carol Browner outwitted a hapless Newt Gingrich, there should be concern that Republicans are easily intimidated by the EPA and activist bullies. It was easy for Republicans to oppose the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax turkey, but most know little about other environmental controversies and would just as soon talk about something else.

But the GOP needs to gird itself for battle. The EPA is coming for our jobs, electricity and economy. The Obama administration is preparing to make cap-and-trade look like a walk in the park compared to EPA regulation. Its regulatory apparatus is running amok.

Cut the EPA’s budget. Cut it in March. Close down the federal government if necessary. Save us now.

Steve Milloy publishes and is author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).