House Republicans Pass Bills Countering Biden's Energy Policies and Census Counts

The US House of Representatives has passed two bills, the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act and the Equal Representation Act, aimed at countering the Biden Administration's energy regulations and census procedures, with significant implications for energy policies, appliance standards, and congressional seat apportionment. The bills, sponsored by House Republicans, seek to limit Energy Department regulations on home appliances and add a citizenship question to the census, sparking opposition from Democrats and the Biden administration. This description focuses on the primary topic (the passage of two bills), main entities (US House of Representatives, Biden Administration, House Republicans, Democrats), context (energy regulations and census procedures), significant actions (passage of bills), and implications (energy policies, appliance standards, congressional seat apportionment). The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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House Republicans Pass Bills Countering Biden's Energy Policies and Census Counts

House Republicans Pass Bills Countering Biden's Energy Policies and Census Counts

On May 14, 2024, the US House of Representatives passed two significant bills aimed at countering the Biden Administration's energy regulations and ensuring accurate census counts. The Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act (H.R. 6192) seeks to protect American consumers from overreaching energy regulations, while the Equal Representation Act aims to add a citizenship question to the decennial census.

Why this matters: The passage of these bills has significant implications for the country's energy policies and the distribution of congressional seats, which can impact the lives of millions of Americans. The outcome of these bills will also set a precedent for the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government.

The Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), aims to change Energy Department procedures for making energy efficiency standards for home appliances. Lesko argued that the bill will "preserve the affordability, availability, and quality of the household appliances Americans rely on every day." Opponent Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) countered that the standards "save Americans money on their energy bills, boost innovation by modernizing appliances for the future, and reduce greenhouse gas pollution." The bill passed with 212 yeas to 195 nays.

The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), a group of 98 House Democrats, condemned the passage of H.R. 6192. SEEC leaders stated, "This week, Republicans are targeting common-sense efficiency standards that save Americans energy and money... Despite this, House Republicans want to make it harder for DOE to deliver consumer savings that have broad support from the American public." According to Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan, the bill threatens actions expected to save Americans $1 trillion and cut greenhouse gas pollution by over 2.5 billion metric tons over the next 30 years.

The Equal Representation Act, passed in a party-line vote of 206-202, directs the Census Bureau to ask respondents about their citizenship status and require that only citizens be considered when determining the number of congressional seats each state receives. "We should not reward states and cities that violate federal immigration laws and maintain sanctuary policies with increased Congressional representation," said Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). "Common sense dictates that only American citizens should be counted for electoral apportionment, and the Equal Representation Act ensures that."

Democrats and the Biden administration strongly oppose the Equal Representation Act, arguing it would chill the response rate to the Census and unfairly target immigrant communities. Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) called the legislation "reckless, cynical, and frankly, illegal," stating, "It is not the Census Bureau's job to keep track of immigration status." The concept of a citizenship question on the census was first raised by the Trump administration but blocked by the Supreme Court in 2019.

House Republicans have also pushed back against the Biden administration's handling of energy regulations and grant funding. In letters to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, they pressed for answers about recently awarded Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund grants and urged rejection of a California proposal to impose stricter emissions standards on trains. The Republicans raised concerns about potential misuse of funds and harm to the transportation system and interstate commerce.

The passage of the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act and Equal Representation Act highlights the ongoing battle between House Republicans and the Biden administration over energy policies and census procedures. As Rep. Carter stated, "Since taking office, President Biden's policies have unleashed a war on American consumers." The fate of these bills in the Senate and the administration's response will have significant implications for energy regulations, appliance standards, and the apportionment of congressional seats based on census data in the coming years.

Key Takeaways

  • US House passes "Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act" to limit energy regulations.
  • Bill aims to protect consumers from overreaching energy standards.
  • House also passes "Equal Representation Act" to add citizenship question to census.
  • Act seeks to count only citizens for congressional seat apportionment.
  • Bills spark controversy, with Democrats opposing both measures.