Capitol Connection Newsletter

Washington, Aug 2, 2011 -

Legislation to End Debt Ceiling Impasse Passes House
On Monday, August 1, the House passed legislation that takes significant steps to address our nation’s debt crisis. While Americans across the country have had to re-examine their spending priorities, the federal government has failed to do the same. The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats have maxed out the nation’s credit card and now want additional authority to continue borrowing and spending. To make matters worse, they insisted on enacting massive tax hikes that will stifle economic growth and job creation to pay for this spending spree. Though the legislation passed by the House is far from perfect, Congressman Miller supported it because it prevents a damaging national default, mandates spending cuts that exceed increases in the debt limit, and excludes any job-killing tax increases. The measure also forces Congress and the Administration to make deeper cuts in spending and consider structural changes to address our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges before the President may seek additional borrowing authority. Congressman Miller believes that to strengthen our economy, Congress must ensure that these spending cuts and caps are strictly enforced, and enact measures to prevent future government overspending. While this proposal is not the ultimate cure to our nation’s spending and borrowing addiction, it does take significant steps to change the direction of our nation’s spending policies and get our fiscal house in order.

House Approves Measure to Expedite Keystone Pipeline Decision
In September 2008, a Canadian firm applied for a Presidential Permit to construct an oil pipeline from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast. It has been estimated that the project will create and support hundreds of thousands of new jobs and bring in an additional 700,000 barrels of oil daily into the U.S. Unfortunately, the current permit process has allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to continually delay final consideration of the permit application for nearly three years. Congressman Miller supported legislation passed by the House last week to expedite the process, requiring the President to issue a final order granting or denying the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline within 30 days after the issuance of the final environmental impact statement and come to a decision by November 1, 2011. He believes it is time to put an end to this delay and allow the project to move forward that will create thousands of new American jobs, lessen our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, and help reduce the burden of high gas prices on American families.

House Takes Up FY 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill
Last week, the House began consideration of H.R. 2584, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act., which would provide funding for the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service among others. The bill allocates $19 billion for these agencies, a reduction of $2 billion from the current funding level and $6 billion below the President’s request. While ensuring that adequate funding is provided to ensure the continued protection of the environment and public health, the bill makes significant cuts to most of the agencies and departments covered under this legislation in order to reign in government spending, – including a $1.5 billion cut to the EPA. The bill also contains dozens of important policy provisions limiting the authority of the EPA and other federal agencies to enact regulations that stifle job creation and hinder our nation’s ability to access America’s vast energy resources.

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