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With a vote of 231-196, the Republican led House passed its $32 billon Interior-EPA spending bill, the first time in seven years that the House has passed such a spending bill. The final vote count was largely along party lines with 228 Republicans voting in favor and 181 Democrats in opposition. This spending bill contains a number of positive spending reductions and looks to rein in the Obama Administration’s over regulation.

The spending bill, H.R. 5538, enables reduction of wasteful spending and harmful, unnecessary regulations. The spending bill also provides $32.1 billion in funding, which is a $64 million reduction from fiscal year 2016 and $1 billion below the Administration’s budget request. Under the spending bill, the EPA would see a reduction of $164 million from FY 2016 levels, which is $291 million below the amount requested in Obama’s budget request. The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund also see funding reductions under the bill.

The EPA-Interior spending bill would not only reduce EPA regulatory programs by 6 percent, but contains a number of provisions that would rein in costly regulations, such as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), and the Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS). The Obama Administration’s myriad of proposed and enacted regulations increase the price of energy in the U.S., reduce GDP, and threaten millions of American jobs.

Provisions of the bill meant to rein in Obama’s regulatory regime include:

  • Prohibiting EPA from implementing new greenhouse gas regulations for new or existing power plants;
  • Eliminating funding for greenhouse gas “New Source Performance Standards”;
  • Prohibiting EPA implementation of WOTUS;
  • Prohibiting EPA from changing the definition of “fill materials”;
  • Prohibitions on new methane requirements;
  • Prohibiting the regulation of the lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle; and
  • Prohibitions on harmful changes to the “stream buffer rule”

Americans for Tax Reform supports H.R. 5538’s spending reductions and measures that rein in costly executive overreach. The efforts of the bill’s Sponsor Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and the House Republicans will help rein in spending and protect American taxpayers, consumers, and businesses, from the costly and harmful effects of regulations put forth under the Obama Administration.


Photo Credit: Daniel Mennerich