House GOP sets up June votes on EPA bills, chemical reform

The House will vote on two bills combating Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations in June, according to a schedule from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyGOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level McCarthy laments distractions from far-right members Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women of Leadership Award given to Queen Elizabeth MORE's (R-Calif.) office. A bill to update federal chemical safety regulations is also on the agenda. 

One bill, the Ratepayer Protection Act, would allow states to opt out of the EPA's proposed climate rule for existing power plants and block implementation of the rule until all legal challenges against it are decided. A House panel approved the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Ed WhitfieldWayne (Ed) Edward WhitfieldBottom Line Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? MORE (R-Ky.), in April.

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The rule, the Clean Power Plan, is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. It's a cornerstone of President Obama's climate change agenda, but Republicans have warned it could lead to higher energy costs and hurt electricity reliability.

Another bill, from Rep. David McKinleyDavid Bennett McKinleyMcBath to run in neighboring district after GOP redrew lines Trump backs one GOP lawmaker over another in West Virginia primary Lawmakers who bucked their parties on the T infrastructure bill MORE (R-W.Va.), would take aim at the EPA's rule setting national standards for the disposal of coal ash waste at power plants. The bill would require states to set up permitting systems for coal ash sites and strip out several requirements in the EPA's rule.

The House will also consider legislation to update toxic chemical laws for the first time in decades. That bill would give the EPA a timetable for assessing dangerous chemicals and give states the chance to regulate them as well.

The votes are scheduled for the week of June 22.

"The House will end the month with several bills from the Energy and Commerce Committee which will protect consumers from burdensome and costly EPA regulations, keep the decision power in the hands of the states, and help modernize outdated laws," McCarthy wrote in a Friday memo to House Republicans.