Simpson Grills EPA Administrator over Budget
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, questioned Environmental Protection Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding the EPA’s budget request for FY2012. Simpson also grilled Administrator Jackson regarding what many perceive as the EPA’s regulatory overreach and the impact that the agency’s actions are having on the economy.
Simpson questioned the agency’s decision to reduce the EPA’s budget on the backs of states, which are already struggling to balance their own budgets, as state grants have been reduced by 22% while EPA operations and research budgets are reduced by only 2%-4%. “This is not the blueprint for reduced federal spending and debt reduction that the American people and congressional Republicans are demanding,” said Simpson. “In stark contrast, we cut more spending out of the SRFs in the House-passed full year continuing resolution than has been proposed in your entire 2012 budget. The demand for 2012 is simple: cut more and regulate less.”
Simpson also defended provisions included in H.R. 1, the continuing resolution (CR) that reduces funding for the EPA by 30% for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which would have limited funding for what he called EPA’s “litany of overreaching regulations.” Simpson pushed for language to be included in the bill to limit EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases, as well as language to prohibit funding for efforts to expand EPA’s jurisdiction over state waters. In addition, during consideration on the House floor over 20 amendments limiting funding for EPA were accepted by the House.
“It should be up to Congress, not the Administration, to determine whether and how to regulate greenhouse gases,” said Simpson. “We put a hold on all of these regulations in the House-passed CR in order to relieve the burden on industry and to give our authorizers the opportunity to address these issues in a more comprehensive fashion this year. The fact that so many amendments regarding the EPA were offered to the CR and passed so overwhelmingly makes it clear that there is a problem with the way the EPA is cranking out regulations, and I think these funding limitations provide us with an important roadmap for going forward in the 112th Congress.”