McConnell won’t back down in EPA spending fight

McConnell won’t back down in EPA spending fight

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? Dems charge ahead on immigration Biden and Bernie set for clash MORE (R-Ky.) pledged Wednesday that he’ll keep up his fight to stop Obama administration environmental rules through spending bills.

In a column in The Cincinnati Enquirer, McConnell claimed credit for the Senate appropriations provisions that block Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts, saying it is his responsibility to protect Kentucky from them.

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“I’m pleased to report that recently the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, took an important step toward using Congress’s power of the purse to rein in the agency on several fronts, efforts that should help those not only in the coal industry but also farmers and Kentucky job creators,” McConnell wrote.

McConnell earlier this year placed himself on the appropriations subcommittee with authority over the EPA, in an effort to exercise more power over the agency.

“As a member of this subcommittee, I was able to secure a number of policy provisions in this EPA funding bill that passed out of committee, provisions that seek to scale back the overreach of the EPA,” he said.

McConnell’s column was published the day after Obama administration officials lashed out at the Senate’s EPA funding bill, along with a similar measure the House will vote on this week.

Both would make significant cuts to the agency’s budget while blocking a number of controversial rules.

Specifically, the Senate bill blocks funding to enforce carbon dioxide limits for power plants in states that do not consent. It also blocks funding to enforce the EPA’s “waters of the United States” rule on the federal government’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction and funds that would make final a proposed rule to reduce ozone pollution that contributes to smog.

McConnell said Congress needs to use funding to stop the EPA until a Republican president can do more to roll back President Obama’s agenda.

“Congress must do its best through the power of the purse to hold the line against the bureaucratic and regulatory menace the EPA has become, at least until America elects a new president who is more sympathetic to the needs of Kentucky’s coal families, farmers and small-business owners,” he said.

“I can assure you, I will not stand idly by while this administration tries to wipe out the lifeblood of our state’s economy.”