GOP energy bill clears House along party lines, looks to get Democrat support in Senate

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

President Joe Biden’s promise of a veto did little to dissuade Republicans from passing their energy bill in the lower chamber.

Thursday, in a mostly party-line vote, the House passed the Lower Energy Costs Act, or LECA, which contains language that would undo several Biden executive orders that Republicans say are stymying domestic energy production.

“[We] all ought to be focused on helping low-income families who are struggling,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the bill’s primary sponsor, said on the House floor. “Families all across America are struggling under the weight of high inflation, all the spending that’s come out of Washington under President Biden, but especially led and driven by this anti-American energy policy that we’ve seen from President Biden that has dramatically increased costs on American families.”

Rep. Mike Flood (R-Neb.) tweeted, “From his first day in office, President Biden has been pushing American energy prices higher and putting our country’s energy security at risk. These soaring energy costs have been crushing the family budgets of working Americans over the last two years.”

LECA passed the House by a 225-to-204 vote. Pennsylvania Republican Brian Fitzpatrick broke from the right to oppose the bill, while four Democrats — Jared Golden of Maine, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington — voted in support.

It was not immediately clear why any of the five lawmakers who went against party leanings did so. As of this writing, none had issued a statement explaining their vote.

Biden did not issue a statement following the bill’s passage. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday referred reporters to an earlier statement she had made about LECA.

As previously reported by FISM, Biden has promised to veto the bill should it reach his desk, citing primarily the fact that LECA would undercut his green initiatives.

In her earlier statement, Jean-Pierre had repeated White House allegations.

“H.R. 1 would double the cost of energy efficiency upgrades that families need to reduce household bills,” Jean-Pierre said in her earlier statement. “It would repeal key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act to cut energy costs and boost economic development.  It would eliminate pollution control requirements that prohibit big companies from polluting the air we breathe.”


It is unclear if the bill will carry sufficient weight among moderate Democrats to survive the Senate.

The possibility is there, to be sure. Democrats from fossil fuel-rich states — among them Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and John Tester of Montana — could join Republicans in support of the bill.

Manchin only recently accused Biden of inappropriately applying the tenets of the Inflation Reduction Act and of putting ideology over the country.

“While all parties have a responsibility to negotiate in good faith, recent actions make clear to me that the Biden administration is determined to pursue an ideological agenda rather than confront the clear and present danger that debts and deficits pose to our nation,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

Manchin has been particularly sour over what he sees as a heavy-handed green policy.

Perhaps the best indicator that there could be enough Democratic support for LECA in the Senate is the fact that Biden has threatened the veto.

House Republicans have been prolific in their passing of bills, some of which are direct attempts by conservatives to undermine Biden’s legislative efforts or otherwise antithetical to progressivism.

However, LECA is one of the few acts Biden has addressed with the threat of veto. He didn’t even do that for a House bill that would end his student-debt-forgiveness plan, and there is no need for him to as the Senate will likely never vote on the measure. LECA could turn out to be a stickier situation.