House Passes GOP’s ‘Priority’ Energy Bill

March 30, 2023 by Dan McCue
House Passes GOP’s ‘Priority’ Energy Bill
Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., addresses the press. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday passed the energy bill the new Republican leadership said was its top priority, but in the wake of the vote, the Senate’s top Democrat said the legislation is dead on arrival in his chamber.

“The GOP ‘energy package’ would gut environmental safeguards and lock us into direct energy sources,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., shortly after the vote.

“The Senate is not going to waste our time on a bill that sets America back decades in our transition to clean energy,” he added.

Schumer’s statements came just days after the White House said that should he receive the bill, President Joe Biden would veto it.

As previously reported by The Well News, supporters of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, contend the legislation would increase fossil fuel production, dramatically trim the permitting process for all forms of energy projects, ranging from wind and solar farms to oil fields and natural gas pipelines, and boost production and processing of critical minerals.

Introduced by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., the bill would also repeal several climate, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs secured by the Biden administration in the last, Democratically controlled Congress.

Among other things the bill, which Scalise said would “reverse the anti-energy policies advanced by the Biden administration,” would force the Interior Department to complete quarterly lease sales of oil and gas, and the White House to lift a moratorium on coal leasing on federal land.

“These policies make nothing but common sense,” Scalise said on Thursday. “The good thing about it is, you don’t just get the advantages of lower carbon emissions globally by passing this bill. For families across America who’re sick and tired of the lunacy and hypocrisy of the left’s policies, it lowers costs for families.”

In the end, the bill passed in the House 225-204, with a few Democrats voting in favor of it.

And so far, the most tangible effect of the votes is that it has inspired a backlash of digital ads placed in the districts of vulnerable Republicans, like Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., and Young Kim and Michelle Steel in California.

The vote came hours after a meeting of Democratic congressional leaders at the White House.

Before leaving, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who had Scalise’s job when the Democrats controlled Congress, said the meeting focused on messaging, and how to talk to the American public about the benefits they’re getting from Biden and Democratic policies.

“This is a House effort to make sure that our communicators, our 213 Democrats in the House of Representatives, communicate to their districts, and to districts that we do not represent, what we have done and what we’re doing to make their lives better,” Hoyer said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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