Nearly 80 House Democrats wrote a letter expressing concern about tying together the pieces of a Republican-led permitting reform package that must pass legislation amid efforts to secure a permit reform deal to a compromise debt limit bill.
In a new letter to President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), the 79 lawmakers did not directly address the debt limit. However, they cautioned many about including a Republican energy bill known as HR1 or other bills with the potential to harm the environment in “must pass” legislation.
“To protect American communities and our environment from undue harm, we strongly urge you to oppose ongoing attempts to incorporate HR 1 or any other serious proposals that undermine our fundamental environmental and public laws that require the passage of legislation,” they wrote in the letter released. on Friday.
The approval reform refers to efforts to speed up the approval of energy or other infrastructure projects amid complaints that the current process is too long.
The issue has divided Democrats, some of whom argue that a faster process is needed to produce low-carbon energy in the fight against climate change, but others warn that the efforts of expediting environmental review harms nearby communities by limiting their input.
Democrats on both sides of the issue, however, signed the new letter. It was led by: Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Paul Tonko (DN.Y.), Mike Levin (D-Calif. ), Sean Casten (D- Ill.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), Melanie Stansbury (DN.M.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Teresa Leger Fernandez (DN.M. ), and Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.).
Grijalva led opposition to an authorization reform push last year by Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.). However, Casten previously said there was “more good than bad” in the bill.
However, the group of lawmakers in the letter on Friday came together to lay out a set of four principles that they would like to see in a push to speed up the country’s infrastructure projects: a focus on implementation, instead of that “destruction,” environmental law, full. funds for federal offices that complete environmental assessments, a construction for new electricity transmission infrastructure and rejection of efforts to “hold the legislation that must be passed hostage.”
It is unclear how much power the coalition of lawmakers will have, especially since they are the minority in the House. However, the approval of the reform efforts also needs to get 60 votes in the Senate, which can be difficult to achieve.
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