GOP leaders ask Obama to support House EPA bills

House Republican leaders are asking President Obama to throw his support behind legislation they say would help the economy by blocking regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency. 

"We recently identified elements of your job creation proposals that we believe represent opportunities for common ground between Democrats and Republicans," the leaders wrote in a letter to the president. "We write today to ask that you give similar consideration to our plan for America’s job creators, including two important bills the House will consider this week that will support job creation and prevent thousands of jobs from being destroyed in some of our country’s most critical industries."

The GOP leaders asked Obama to consider supporting the EPA Regulatory Relief Act and the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, bills the House is expected to pass this week.

"The federal government has a responsibility under the Constitution to regulate interstate commerce, and there are reasonable regulations that protect our children and help keep our environment clean," the letter reads. "But there are also excessive regulations that unnecessarily increase costs for consumers and small businesses, and make it harder for our economy to create jobs. The rules addressed by the bills the House will consider this week are examples of such harmful government excess."

The GOP leaders concluded in the letter that they hoped Obama, in "the spirit" of bipartisanship, would back the bills.

"It is our hope that in the spirit of putting country before party, you will call on the Senate to follow the House in passing these measures, and commit to signing them into law should they reach your desk," the letter says.

Obama is pressuing Congress to take up his American Jobs Act by the end of the month, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said that package is "dead" in his chamber. Cantor said the House will vote instead on the parts of the bill that GOP leaders support, including three trade agreements and a reduction in the withholding tax for businesses.

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