White House threatens veto of Sen. Paul’s push to block EPA rule

Paul plans to use the Congressional Review Act, an obscure law that allows Congress to overturn federal regulations, to block the EPA rule, which reduces smog and particulate-forming pollution from power plants in 27 Eastern states.

The cross-state rule would offer major public health and economic benefits, the White House said.

“Each year, this rule would avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths, prevent more than ten thousand heart attacks and hospital visits for respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and alleviate hundreds of thousands of childhood asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses,” the White House said in a news release. “The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that this flexible, commonsense rule will yield hundreds of billions of dollars in net benefits each year.”

EPA said the rule could prevent as many as 34,000 premature deaths every year beginning in 2014.

But Paul and other coal-state lawmakers said the regulation will burden the economy and cost jobs.

The statement of administration policy says Obama’s senior advisers will recommend that he veto the resolution if it reaches his desk.

White House energy and climate adviser Heather Zichal blasted Paul’s resolution Monday.