Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich), new chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is developing “legislative weapons” to undo EPA regulations rules on greenhouse gases. Senator Barbara Boxer is vowing to use every “tool” available to her to defeat Upton. Upton responded to Boxer saying he plans to provide the oversight of the EPA that has been absent for two years, and will do all he can to roll back “job-killing” green house gas regulations.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), new chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is asking “lobbyists and trade organizations to identify the federal rules they would like to see overturned.” The EPA’s regulations on air quality were identified as a priority. Source.
We are going to be working together [Upton and Issa]. We are going to be looking to identify programs that don’t work, programs that ought to be cut, working with our leadership, Boehner and Cantor, to bring up spending reductions virtually every week, as we’ve done without success this last year to really get the job done.
From Rep. Darrell Issa:
The fact is that in the 1980s, Congress did about 1,600 days of oversight. That’s a lot more than my committee alone could ever do.
Last year, we did less than 400, far less. And that’s with you being able to call an oversight, whether it is or it isn’t. Looking for the hundreds of billions of dollars of waste, Office of Management and Budget, the president’s Office of Management and Budget views $125 billion of misspending by Medicare, and yet year after year it doesn’t change.
That’s 10 percent of the deficit that would go away if we simply stop paying to people who don’t exist their claims. There is so much opportunity, but it’s more of an accounting function than legal function. It’s more about the inspector generals than it is about lawyers in the White House.
And the sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party, the better off we’ll be.
Chris Wallace asked Upton how he will stop the administration’s EPA regulations:
UPTON: A couple things that we can do. We’re going to have early, early hearings on this. We’re going to see exactly what their analysis is on its impact on jobs. There’s also something called the Congressional Review Act, that within 60 days of rules being published, Congress can take this up and with an up-or-down vote, it is filibuster-proof in the Senate. It’s been used before.
WALLACE: But it can be vetoed by the president.
UPTON: It can be vetoed by the president, but already we’ve seen a number of powerful Democrats indicate that they have real, real qualms about what the EPA is intending to do.
UPTON: I don’t think that we have to regulate carbon to the degree we have a carbon tax or you have a cap-and-trade system. And the House spoke pretty loudly — you know, you take that same cap-and- trade bill that passed the House last year. Today it would lose by 50 votes and it could never come up in the Senate. This is not — this regulation process is not the way to proceed.
Wallace asked Issa, “other than holding meetings, what can you actually do?
ISSA: Well, my committee is the committee primarily of efficiency and regulatory — some oversight. Fred’s and some of the other committees specifically get into the laws.
Yes, mostly what we’re going to do is shed light on it. But, at the same time, as you shed light, you build the American people’s demand that we realize that the president took two years to say I found out nothing was shovel-ready. Well, you know why nothing’s shovel-ready? Because the bureaucracy slows down those road programs, those other things that the president said were so important.
We need to make it to where when we do a WPA-type project, a project about road building or buildings, with government expense, that they can actually happen in six months or a year, not 10.
Unfortunately, Wallace failed to ask if Upton and Issa have a legislative weapon to repeal the Lightbulb Socialism looming, courtesy of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. See an overview of the four EPA regulations of concern and their timeline for implementation at Institute for Energy Research. It will take some big-gun legislative weapons to undo Obama’s green regulations. We’ll see if Issa and Upton find a way to pull the trigger.