House votes to reject Biden's trucking regulations

 May 24, 2023

With help from a few Democrats, Republicans in the House voted to overturn President Biden's controversial environmental regulations on heavy-duty trucks.

Biden has already pledged to veto the resolution, which passed the Senate weeks ago.

Democrats say the rule will mitigate global warming and reduce harmful air pollution, but Republicans say it will burden the trucking industry and bring new costs that will get passed along to consumers.

Biden rule rejected

The House voted 221-203 vote to reject Biden's rule through the Congressional Review Act. The Senate voted to reject the rule in April, with Democrat Joe Manchin (Wv.) crossing the aisle.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims the rule, which wouldn't take effect until 2027, would avert hundreds of premature deaths by reducing pollution.

There's a racial angle as well, as the White House and Democrats in Congress argue trucking pollution harms minorities and poor people disproportionately.

"Democrats are choosing to stand with families that are concerned about real health problems, like bronchitis, childhood asthma, and cardiovascular disease that is caused and accentuated by pollution," Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx.) said.

Supply chain threat

But opponents in the trucking industry say the regulations could cripple supply chains and actually result in more pollution.

Todd Spencer, President and CEO of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said Biden's rule "incentivizes keeping older, higher-emitting trucks in service longer."

"Mandating equipment that has historically led to major engine reliability issues under an unrealistic timeline will have devastating effects on the reliability of America’s supply chain and ultimately on the cost and availability of consumer goods," he added.

Green agenda

New regulations in California greenlit by Biden would go even further by banning the sale of diesel trucks outright before 2036.

Under Biden's regulations, an estimated quarter of heavy-duty trucks would have to be electric by 2032, as well as nearly half of medium-duty vehicles and over 60 percent of cars.

Biden hopes to reach these ambitious goals by making pollution standards so strict, automakers have no choice but to phase out gas and diesel vehicles.

Republicans warn that Biden is trying to transform the transportation sector through the back door.

"EPA's regulatory efforts are just the latest step by the Biden administration to electrify the transportation sector and burden American families in the process," Republican Bill Johnson (Oh.) said.

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