This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) that would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to provide assistance to states that had chosen to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This amendment was offered to legislation prohibiting the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions at the federal level.
Murphy urged support for his amendment: “…This amendment is fairly simple. While the underlying bill, though, I think very wrongly prevents the EPA from going forward on regulating greenhouse gases, my amendment affirms that state-run greenhouse gas programs will not be affected by the underlying legislation. My amendment simply clarifies that language, by keeping in practice the longstanding tradition whereby the EPA will be able to continue providing technical assistance for states like mine who have taken action on their own to combat climate change…. I propose this amendment as a way of simply allowing States to move forward with what I think have been very beneficial carbon reduction regimes in the absence of federal control.”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) opposed the amendment: “The amendment by the gentleman from Connecticut proposes to create a loophole to continue to allow the EPA to get their nose back under that tent to regulate greenhouse gases.” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said: “ I oppose the Murphy amendment because it guts what we're trying to do in H.R. 910 [the underlying bill], which is to once again put America back on a course that says we're going to have safe air, we're going to have clean drinking water, but we're going to do it in a way where the private sector can create jobs, we can grow our economy, and we will not have to have the unemployment rate that we have struggled through for the last 2 1/2 years.”
The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 182-240. Voting “yea” were 177 Democrats and 5 Republicans. 233 Republicans and 7 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue to provide assistance to states that had chosen to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.