On Friday, the House Republicans passed a new bill that would cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by about 40%.
Passed by a vote of 213-203, the financing plan would be the EPA’s lowest budget in thirty years, slashing 39 percent of the agency’s funds. Representative Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, a Democrat, was noted as voting in favor of the bill, while Republican Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Mike Lawler of New York, and Marc Molinaro of New York voted against it.
Republicans have long complained about the agency, claiming it goes too far in addressing issues like pollution, contamination, and climate change.
The bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), described the financial cuts the plan would bring about as essential to reducing the national debt and inflation.
Though the GOP’s large funding cut proposal has very little chance of passing into law in this year’s budget, it does represent a starting point for talks between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate about how to fund the government.
Republicans aimed to approve 12 yearly government spending measures by Nov. 17 in order to avert a government shutdown. This bill is one of those legislation.
But in order to pass the final five legislation within the short window, Republicans will need to maintain their unity on spending.
The GOP package would repeal elements from the climate, tax, and health care bills that Democrats passed last year in addition to the top-line EPA cuts.
The funding is reportedly targeted toward various ‘underprivileged’ communities to assist them in fighting pollution and climate change.
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