Inhofe wants EPA to report economic impact of regulations

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment to the Senate's extension of unemployment benefits that would require the Environmental Protection Agency report the economic impacts of any new regulations.

The debate over unemployment benefits has occupied the Senate since the start of the new year, making it the perfect time, in Inhofe's eyes, to tack on the rider.

"While the President likes to tout that the economy is recovering, behind closed doors his administration is creating regulations that are stifling innovation, production and job creation," Inhofe said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Under the Obama Administration, the EPA has finalized countless regulations affecting every industry and preventing millions of American jobs from being created."

"My amendment is a common-sense solution to help bring an end to our long-term unemployment crisis and to bring much-needed transparency to the EPA's reckless regulatory policies," he added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signed on to co-sponsor the amendment, along with Environmental and Public Works Committee ranking member David Vitter (R-La.), and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Blunt argues that attempting to extend the unemployment benefits beyond what states normally pay isn't the right policy.

"It’s time that the EPA and the Obama Administration actually take into account the economic impact of their costly and onerous regulations," Blunt said in a statement.

It's unlikely that the amendment would be tacked on to an unemployment deal — which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said may be in the works — because Senate Democrats have vowed to shoot down any rider that gets in the way of Obama's climate regulations.