White House threatens veto for Republican energy package

The White House on Monday threatened a veto of a House Republicans’ energy package, known as H.R. 1,  if it makes it to President Biden’s desk. 

“H.R. 1 would take us backward. Therefore, if presented to the President in its current form, he would veto it,” according to a White House statement. 

The package, which seeks to bolster fossil fuels, speed up infrastructure projects and repeal pieces of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, is expected to come up for a vote in the House later this week.

While it may pass the House, the legislation is unlikely to be taken up in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Even prior to the veto message, Biden was widely expected to oppose the bill.

The White House statement argues that the legislation would benefit oil and gas companies at the expense of the public.

“Instead of protecting American consumers, it would pad oil and gas company profits — already at record levels — and undercut our public health and environment. The Administration strongly opposes this bill,” it said. 

“H.R. 1 would also empower big companies to skirt the Clean Air Act by lifting pollution control requirements, weaken emissions requirements and worker protection for refineries using toxic chemicals, modify requirements under the bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act for determining the safety of chemicals used in the energy sector, and repeal $1.5 billion in investments focused on curbing methane leaks that harm surrounding communities,” the statement continued. 

However, the bill’s proponents have said that it contains necessary reforms for bolstering the country’s energy projects and improving its infrastructure. 

When the legislation was introduced, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said it would “cut red tape and increase energy production here at home so we can lower energy costs and stop our dependence on hostile foreign countries for our energy and minerals,” in a written statement. 

The White House statement notes the administration “wants to work in bipartisan manner with Congress to address lowering energy costs, permitting reform, and addressing energy challenges.”

Tags Inflation Reduction Act Joe Biden President Joe Biden Steve Scalise Steve Scalise

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