The Senate on Wednesday voted to overturn the Biden administration’s new rule on heavy-duty vehicle emissions, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which requires the trucking companies to comply with new standards that Senate Republicans claim will harm the economy.
By a vote of 50-49, the resolution to overturn the rule passed, with all Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting in favor, while the remainder of Democrats and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voted against. Its passage is a win for Senate Republicans, who were able to pass the bill largely on party lines despite Democratic control of the Senate.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, 89, who is recovering from shingles in her home state and whose absence, amid her old age, has led several Democrats to call for her resignation, was not present. Had she voted “Yes,” the vote would have ended in a tie at 50-50, which could’ve been broken by Vice President Kamala Harris to prevent the resolution’s passage.
The Senate was right to oppose the @EPA’s unnecessary and unrealistic emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
We should be setting up our trucking and manufacturing sectors for success, not making them pay more or jump through new regulatory hoops. https://t.co/FUrhF1L59V
— Sen. Kevin Cramer (@SenKevinCramer) April 26, 2023
The rule in question, dubbed the “Control of Air Pollution From New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards,” requires all trucking companies, as well as gasoline providers, aircraft operators, and other non-road engine makers (e.g., for railroads and power generation), to comply with new test procedures, warranties and controls on the emission of pollutants. These include nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.
The rule also included an “environmental justice” provision, which stated that the rule was being proposed, in part, because “people of color and people with low income are disproportionately exposed to elevated concentrations of many pollutants in close proximity to major roadways.”
The resolution to repeal the bill was led by Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, who said that the rule “will hit mom-and-pop truck operations the hardest” as well as “incentivize[s] operators to keep using older, higher-emitting trucks for longer,” to avoid buying new and more expensive vehicles that comply with the standards, according to a statement on her website.
Manchin, who gave the GOP the single vote needed to pass the bill — which, under the Congressional Review Act to review regulations, is not subject to a Senate filibuster — said that he would be joining Republicans to “stop this government overreach,” he said in a written statement.
The resolution now heads to the House, where the Republican majority is expected to approve it. President Joe Biden is certain to veto the resolution, which would make it only the second veto of a Congressional bill during his presidency, and it remains in effect unless he signs the bill or it is repealed.
The White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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