House GOP says delaying EPA rules better than Obama's jobs plan

Nugent said Vice President Biden was in his home district today to talk about Obama's jobs plan. But Nugent and other Republicans recommended H.R. 2681, which would require EPA to take another 15 months to develop workable cement plant emission rules, and H.R. 2250, which would force a similar delay to the EPA's so-called Boiler MACT rules.

"Numerous groups and industries have made it clear that Boiler MACT regulations will cost them hundreds of millions of dollars and will put many of their employees in the unemployment line," Nugent said. "Yet, our president ignores these regulations and keeps talking about doubling down on a second stimulus, following the failed first stimulus package."

Nugent's comments came during debate on the rule that would set the terms of debate for both bills, which members later approved in a 257-165 vote. House Democrats argued back that the bills reflect the ongoing Republican effort to cripple the EPA.

"In my considered opinion, both these bills are yet another effort by the Republican leadership to demonize the Environmental Protection Agency while doing nothing to create jobs for the millions of Americans who are unemployed," said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

Hastings also reiterated the Democratic position that hurting EPA would lead to adverse health effects for all Americans. But unlike other Democrats, Hastings did not cite quantitative EPA estimations of the health damage that might be done.

"The reason I didn't use EPA's numbers is I don't think EPA or anybody else has the prerogative to make a decision about how many people are going to die at a certain time," he said. However, he said he did believe poor health for Americans would be a result of passing the two bills.

Last month, House Democrats cited EPA statistics saying that lowering other EPA environmental standards would lead to "tens of thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of heart attacks, and hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks."

The House was expected to begin work on the two EPA bills on Wednesday.


—This story was updated at 2:17 p.m. to reflect the rule vote.