(DCWatchdog.com) – The US House of Representatives has passed a Republican-sponsored bill designed to boost US oil and gas production and reduce climate initiatives, thus lowering energy costs for Americans.
The Lower Energy Costs Act bill, also labeled H.R.1, is considered a signature GOP initiative and the first significant piece of legislation initiated by the Republican House majority led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The bill was passed with 225 votes in favor vs. 204 against, with all but one Republican supporting it and four Democrats breaking party lines to back it as well, Breitbart News reported.
The main sponsor of the bill, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), celebrated the vote as a significant victory while blasting President Joe Biden for his climate-driven energy agenda.
“From the day he took office, President Biden has waged a war on American energy, and hardworking families are the ones paying the price,” Scalise declared.
“The Lower Energy Costs Act will increase American energy production, reform our broken permitting process, reverse the Biden Administraion’s [sic] radical anti-energy policies, streamline our energy exports and imports, and boost the mining of critical minerals,” he elaborated.
The draft law would oblige the US Department of the Interior to “immediately” restart any halted onshore oil and gas lease sales while shortening the time for issuing permits and lifting some energy import and export restrictions.
Despite the definite House vote, the Lower Energy Costs Act is unlikely to be passed by the Democrat-dominated US Senate, as Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) proclaimed it “dead on arrival.”
“The Senate is not going to waste our time on a bill that sets America back decades on our transition to clean energy,” Schumer stated in a Senate speech shortly before the House vote, as cited by Newsmax.
Democrat leaders in both the Senate and the House have described the GOP-sponsored bill as one that “puts polluters over people.”
The White House has also made it clear that President Joe Biden would veto the law if it makes it to his desk.
Nonetheless, the House vote presented “a symbolic victory” for its new Speaker Kevin McCarthy “that demonstrated his ability to hold his narrow 222-213 Republican majority together,” Newsmax comments.
His accomplishment comes against the backdrop of preparing for “bigger fights” in the negotiations with the Democrats over raising the US debt ceiling.
Thus, the GOP hopes to force the Democrats to include provisions from the bill in any deal on upping the borrowing limit.
“I certainly believe the Senate should give it strong consideration. This is a package that is about energy independence, bringing down the costs, and securing supply chains,” House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told Breitbart.
“I’m hopeful. I’ve had some conversations [with senators] about permitting reform in particular… At least that some of the provisions would be considered in the Senate,” she added.
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