GOP bill would gut EPA

GOP bill would gut EPA
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A House Republican is sponsoring legislation to do away with large portions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including environmental justice and greenhouse gas programs.

Rep. Sam JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonSeven Texas lawmakers leaving Congress means a younger, more diverse delegation The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill Texas GOP lawmaker won’t seek reelection MORE (R-Texas)  introduced the Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act on Thursday, saying it would save $7.5 billion annually. That would leave the agency with a budget of less than $1 billion.

Major EPA climate change programs would be eliminated under the measure.

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The legislation would also close all of the EPA’s regional offices, halt new regulations on ground-level ozone pollution and require the agency to lease unused property.

“As a fiscal conservative, I believe Washington should be a good steward of taxpayers’ dollars,” Johnson said in a statement.

“Part of being a good steward includes reining in unnecessary spending, holding agencies accountable for ‘waste,’ and getting rid of politicians’ ‘pet projects.’ For example, American taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for the EPA’s many vacant and underutilized properties that the EPA’s own Inspector General identified as wasteful,” he said.

The legislation is modeled after a report from the Heritage Foundation, which identified the EPA programs as wasteful.

Johnson introduced similar legislation in 2015, when it did not get any formal congressional consideration.

The legislation differs from a bill introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) this month that would completely eliminate the EPA.