By Betsy Klein, CNN
The Biden administration issued its latest veto threat Monday, this one targeting a GOP-led bill aimed at energy costs that the House is expected to take up this week.
The bill, dubbed “The Lower Energy Costs Act,” includes changes to the energy permitting process and boosts domestic energy production, according to the GOP-led House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. But the White House argues it will “raise costs” for consumers and that the bill “would take us backward.”
“This Administration is making unprecedented progress in protecting America’s energy security and reducing energy costs for Americans — in their homes and at the pump. H.R. 1 would do just the opposite, replacing pro-consumer policies with a thinly veiled license to pollute. It would raise costs for American families by repealing household energy rebates and rolling back historic investments to increase access to cost-lowering clean energy technologies,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement of administration policy Monday.
It continued, “Instead of protecting American consumers, it would pad oil and gas company profits — already at record levels — and undercut our public health and environment. The Administration strongly opposes this bill.”
The statement went on to highlight the administration’s “dramatic progress” toward reducing energy costs and securing supply chains, noting that “both oil and natural gas production in the United States are projected to reach record highs this year.”
It continued, “If presented to the President in its current form, he would veto it.”
The energy package is a top priority for House Republicans and was introduced by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves of Missouri.
In a statement, Scalise responded to the veto threat by criticizing the administration’s handling of energy and utility costs that have gone up during the Biden administration.
“Voters gave House Republicans the majority to reverse this insanity and make energy affordable again, and that’s exactly what the Lower Energy Costs Act does,” Scalise said in the statement. “We will pass the bill this week, and urge the Senate and President Biden to work with us to make America energy independent again and provide the much-needed relief that hardworking desperately need.”
It is unclear if the bill has a path toward passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate. If it passes both chambers, it would then require a two-thirds majority vote in the House and Senate to override Biden’s veto.
Biden signed his first veto earlier this month on a bill to overturn a retirement investment rule. Biden has promised to veto legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House that he disagrees with, Monday’s veto threat marking the latest signal of the changed political order since Republicans won the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.
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