This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) that would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to regulate greenhouse gas emissions but would have exempted farms and small businesses from those regulations. This amendment was offered to legislation prohibiting the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Kind urged support for his amendment: “I represent a rural district in western Wisconsin that has approximately 180,000 rural electric co-op members that are concerned about possible new EPA regulations and their impact on them. I share their concerns, and I agree that we have to approach this issue reasonably. Still, the approach under H.R. 910 [the underlying bill] isn't the right one. There is a middle ground that can be found…This amendment would permanently protect farms, small businesses and small- and medium-sized stationary sources from greenhouse gas regulation…”
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) opposed the amendment: “There is a button that was very popular in my district--and still is--which reads, `Who elected the EPA?' The answer is no one; but we know who elects us. The people of the United States elect us, and they elect us to make the laws….The amendment should be defeated. The [underlying] bill should be passed….this amendment, contrary to its patron's assertions, does not shield small businesses or farms, because it does not block the avalanche of additional greenhouse gas rules that come under various clean air programs. The EPA's greenhouse gas regulations will drive up the prices of gasoline, electricity, food, goods and services; and the cost of these regulations will be passed on to everyone, including to small businesses.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 160-264. Voting “yea” were 159 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 1 Republican. 238 Republicans and 26 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to regulate greenhouse gas emissions but would have exempted farms and small businesses from those regulations.