GOP lawmakers blast Obama for 'unprecedented' overreach
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A group of Arkansas Republican lawmakers on Friday accused President Obama of ‘executive overreach’ over his administration’s plan to partner with a private company to develop a 705-mile wind power transmission line.
 
Sens. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonBarrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanRomney calls first Trump-Biden debate 'an embarrassment' COVID-19 relief talks look dead until September  Senate GOP hedges on attending Trump's convention amid coronavirus uptick MORE and Reps. Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordHouse rebuffs GOP lawmaker's effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol LWCF modernization: Restoring the promise Republicans score procedural victory on Democrats' infrastructure bill MORE, French Hill, Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackOn The Money: Trump gambles with new stimulus strategy | Trump cannot block grand jury subpoena for his tax returns, court rules | Long-term jobless figures rise, underscoring economic pain Womack to replace Graves on Financial Services subcommittee Ex-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending MORE and Bruce Westerman blasted the plan in a joint statement, accusing the Department of Energy (DOE) of abusing its authority.
 
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"Today marks a new page in an era of unprecedented executive overreach as the Department of Energy seeks to usurp the will of Arkansans and form a partnership with a private company — the same private company previously denied rights to operate in our state by the Arkansas Public Service Commission,” the lawmakers said.
 
“Despite years of pushback on the local level and continuous communications between our delegation and Secretary Moniz, DOE has decided to forgo the will of the Natural State and take over the historic ability of state-level transmission control through this announcement.”
 
The DOE on Friday announced that it had signed off on the Clean Line Partners’ project, saying it met all the standards necessary for a federal partnership under a 2005 law.
 
The Arkansans’ statement called that judgment into question on Friday. The lawmakers pledged to raise their concerns “through any avenue necessary.” 
 
“Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 establishes specific conditions that must be met before this authority is used, and we expect the Department to release all details of their review so that our staff and Congressional investigators will be able to continue the process of oversight,” the statement read.
 
"It is our firm belief that the DOE has overstepped its bounds, and reversing this decision through the passage of the APPROVAL Act remains a top priority."