Top House Republicans ready bill to thwart EPA climate rules

Boehner plans to hold a press conference Tuesday about the plan with members including Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-Texas).

The resolution currently has 79 cosponsors, according to Boehner’s office. It will be a so-called resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, a mid-1990s law that allows Congress to overturn federal rules but has been used successfully just once.

The House GOP plan follows a resolution to block EPA filed last week by two senior House Democrats from conservative states – Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

The White House is opposing the efforts, alleging recently that they would harm Detroit automakers, even though opponents of EPA rules say they want to blunt the economic effects of regulating stationary sources like power plants and refineries.

Murkowski’s plan – which has 40 cosponsors including three Democrats – could not be filibustered but faces big hurdles clearing Congress and a likely White House veto. But it would nonetheless be a major political setback for advocates of emissions curbs if the plan gained majority support in either chamber.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is planning legislation that would temporarily block EPA’s stationary source rules without nullifying EPA’s power entirely.
An industry lobbyist tracking the plan said Rockefeller’s bill is expected to call a two-year timeout on the planned EPA rules, which the agency recently said it would implement more slowly than had originally been expected.

The lobbyist predicts that Rockefeller’s plan could draw centrist Democrats away from backing Murkowski’s more sweeping approach.