Idaho’s Simpson vows to use chairmanship to fight Obama power plant regs

Simpson, left, on a 2011 visit to Boise with then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Simpson, left, on a 2011 visit to Boise with then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, said Thursday he will employ his power as chairman of the subcommittee that writes budgets for environmental spending to fight what he calls President Obama’s “contempt for congressional processes” on efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

On Tuesday, Obama said he would use the executive powers of the presidency to order reductions in carbon dioxide released by U.S. power plants.

Simpson reminded the president that his House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment will write the fiscal 2014 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior and U.S. Forest Service.

“Whether through provisions in the underlying bill or through amendments, I expect that when my bill reaches the House floor we’ll have a robust debate on the President’s contempt for the congressional processes envisioned by our Founders and on the overreach of his upcoming actions on greenhouse gases,” Simpson said in a news release. “I am very much looking forward to that debate.”

Earlier, Simpson has used his chairmanship of one of 12 Appropriations Subcommittees to influence policy and gain concessions from the administration. Subcommittee chairman have a long history of muscling presidents of both parties; the posts are so powerful chairmen are called “cardinals” after the red-capped clerics in the Catholic Church. But Simpson is likely to be checked by his Senate counterpart,Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island. Conflicting provisions in spending bills between the two houses must be reconciled in House-Senate negotiations.

Simpson’s news release follows:

Simpson Vows Action to Limit Reach of Obama Regs

 

“President Obama has once again demonstrated to the American people that he has little regard for the

legislative process or concern for the economic impact of his regulatory appetite” – Congressman Mike Simpson

 

Washington, DC – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today said his FY2014 Interior and the Environment Appropriations bill will be part of the battleground over President Obama’s intention to issue new rules, regulations, and executive orders on greenhouse gas emissions.  Simpson is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment which funds the Department of Interior, U.S. Forest Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

“President Obama has once again demonstrated to the American people that he has little regard for the legislative process or concern for the economic impact of his regulatory appetite,” said Congressman Simpson. “For that reason, and because I believe Congress is the appropriate place to debate new greenhouse gas regulations, I intend to address this issue in the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. Whether through provisions in the underlying bill or through amendments, I expect that when my bill reaches the House floor we’ll have a robust debate on the President’s contempt for the congressional processes envisioned by our Founders and on the overreach of his upcoming actions on greenhouse gases. I am very much looking forward to that debate.”

 

Simpson’s statement comes on the heels of President Obama’s announcement this week that he will act unilaterally to curtail greenhouse gas emissions from our nation’s energy production facilities. Simpson said that not only do the President’s actions circumvent the appropriate role of Congress, they drive up costs for virtually everything by targeting a huge portion of our nation’s energy production.

 

“I am confident that our entire conference understands both the danger of allowing the President to circumvent Congress and the devastating consequences to our economy and job creation if these new rules and regulations are approved,” said Simpson. “That is why I believe we’ll address this issue in my bill and on other legislative vehicles in the coming days, weeks, and months.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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