- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2015

House Republicans approved deep spending cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency along with provisions to block the agency’s upcoming rule-making on Wednesday. 

The House Interior and Environment appropriations bill would cut EPA funding by 9 percent next year and block several new rules the agency aims to put out this summer, including rule-making on water oversight and greenhouse gas emissions at power plants, The Hill epa-funding” target=”_blank”>reported Wednesday.

The $20.2 billion funding bill for the Interior Department, EPA and other agencies will move to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Overall, the bill cuts spending by $246 million from current levels and $3 billion below President Obama’s request. 

Funding for the EPA has decreased by 20 percent since Republicans took control of the House in 2011. 

Democrats on the House Appropriations subcommittee said they wouldn’t support the bill’s harsh cuts to the EPA

“We are going backwards and the consequences will be felt in communities all across the country,” Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat and the ranking member of the subcommittee, said at a Wednesday hearing, The Hill reported. 

But Republicans on the committee argue that the agency’s rule-makings have gone to far and the cuts are needed to rein in an out-of-control environmental agenda. 

“There is a great deal of concern over the number of regulatory actions being pursued by the EPA in the absence of legislation and without clear congressional action,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. Ken Calvert, California Republican, The Hill reported.

The bill will now go to the full House Appropriations Committee for approval.

Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers, Kentucky Republican, whose state would be hurt by the EPA’s coal regulations, said that “Congress must exercise its prerogative to prevent this kind of bureaucratic overreach,” The Hill reported. 

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