Boehner: Spill won't hamper anti-reg push

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday pushed back against the suggestion that a costly chemical spill in West Virginia would undermine the GOP’s long-standing campaign to roll back environmental regulations.

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A leak at a plant that regulators hadn’t inspected since 1991 contaminated the Elk River and forced state officials to instruct 300,000 people not to drink or use tap water for five days.

Asked about the spill, Boehner put the onus on the Obama administration.

“The issue is this: We have enough regulations on the books. What the administration ought to be doing is actually doing their jobs,” he said at a press conference in the Capitol. “Why wasn’t this plant inspected since 1991?”

“I am entirely confident that there are ample regulations already on the books to protect the health and safety of the American people,” the Speaker continued. “Somebody ought to be held accountable here. What we try to do is look at those regulations that we think are cumbersome, are over-the-top and are costing our economy jobs. That’s what our focus continues to be.”

House Republicans have waged a legislative war against the Environmental Protection Agency in the three years of their majority, passing numerous bills to rein in the agency and cut back on what they say is costly red tape.

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