September 15, 2017 – Trimming the EPA Enforcement Budget and Restoring Regulatory Sanity
What is the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance?
The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is the law enforcement arm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The office is tasked with carrying out civil and criminal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.
Why Should We Reduce the EPA Enforcement Budget?
While no one would dispute the importance of clean air and clean water, the EPA has been on a regulatory rampage since its founding in the early 1970s, frequently imposing onerous and downright absurd requirements on businesses and state and local governments. The list of EPA abuses is so long we could dedicate a dozen Freedom Fridays to it, but here’s one example any Arizonan could relate to. In the East Valley, dust is the most common particulate—hardly surprising, since we live in a desert. The EPA’s response to this “problem” is come to our communities and tell us to “water down” our ground, and so we do. After that, the agency comes back to claim that we are misusing…water. That isn’t a joke. It’s an example of the kind of absurd inconsistency that we see again and again from the EPA. Reducing the agency’s enforcement budget will limit its ability to stifle the economy with such costly silliness.
What am I doing to reduce their budget?
In his budget request for fiscal year 2018, President Trump proposed a 20% reduction in funding for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance - $129 million below the fiscal year 2017 level. Given the EPA’s egregious activities interfering in our economy, I fully supported his request. During the first two weeks of September, the House of Representatives debated and passed H.R.3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, to provide federal funding for fiscal year 2018. The bill made significant headway in meeting President Trump’s request but ultimately only reduced the budget by 15%. During consideration, I submitted an amendment to reduce the funding by $10,234,000. Although my amendment was not adopted, I will continue to look for opportunities to reduce the EPA’s ability to negatively influence our economy.
What are people saying?
“Americans for Prosperity thanks Congressman Biggs for introducing an amendment that would reduce EPA's enforcement budget and restrict the size of the federal government in our lives. EPA saw tremendous growth over the course of the previous administration. Its burdensome regulations strangled the growth of the American economy and restricted Americans' access to affordable and reliable energy. It is great to see efforts in Congress to rein in this rouge agency.” - Tom Jenney, Americans for Prosperity Arizona
"The amendment by Representative Andy Biggs to cut EPA’s budget for enforcement by over ten million dollars is an important step toward achieving President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda. The House bill cuts EPA’s budget by less than 7%, which is far smaller than the 31% cut requested by the Trump administration. It’s unfortunate that the House failed to follow Rep. Biggs’s leadership on this critical issue." - Myron Ebell, Director of the Center for Energy Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute
“Over the past several years, the EPA promulgated and finalized regulations that increased costs to consumers and businesses. The growth of the regulatory state is a danger to Americans. The passage of regulatory reform bills is a good start, but amendments like the one offered by Rep. Biggs reduce funding, limiting the ability of bureaucrats to enforce their onerous regulations. FreedomWorks applauds Rep. Biggs for his amendment. We appreciate his hard work in Congress for limited government, fewer regulations, and free markets.” - Jason Pye, FreedomWorks