You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Republican Overreach Begins

If Republicans take control of the House, apparently their plan is to take revenge upon the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to accede to the demands of lobbyists by tying up agency head Lisa Jackson in endless hearings:

On the campaign trail, Republicans have adopted the Environmental Protection Agency as a favorite symbol of the White House’s regulatory overreach. And behind the scenes in Washington, GOP staffers and K Street lobbyists who say they've been dissed by the EPA administrator are looking forward to getting some revenge.

Like other senior administration officials, Jackson can expect to be chained to a witness chair on Capitol Hill if Republicans win either chamber. There, they hope to make her defend policies the GOP contends are unpopular and anti-business.

“I think she’ll be very much in demand on the Hill, at times not of her choosing,” said a former staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “It will diminish her free time, shall we say.”

Republicans may think the EPA's regulation of carbon emissions is "unpoular." It certainly is on K Street. But among the public as a whole, it's extremely popular:

On another subject, do you think the federal government should or should not regulate the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

--------- Should -------- ------- Should not ------ No NET Strongly Somewhat NET Somewhat Strongly opinion 6/6/10 71 52 19 26 7 19 4 12/13/09 65 50 15 29 9 20 6 6/21/09 75 53 22 22 9 13 3 4/24/09 75 54 21 21 9 12 4

Even Republicans, by a wide margin, approve of federal regulation of greenhouse gases. People are leery of direct energy taxes. But regulating industry sounds like something that cracks down on big polluters, not something that hurts average people. Even Republicans support greenhouse gas regulation. Republican control of the House would, overall, be a pretty terrible thing. (Though isn't it funny that we're seeing so many stories premised on the assumption that's it's an absolute sure thing? I mean, Democrats might keep control, even though I wouldn't bet on it.) But the White House has to be licking its lips at the prospect of spectacles like Republicans lambasting the EPA for regulating polluters on behalf of its lobbyist allies. Obama's reelection campaign couldn't orchestrate this theater any better.