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House GOP Resets the Gas Price Campaign

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy has made efforts to broaden the GOP’s energy campaign this summer, helping to create a nimble offensive, aides said.

For instance, Scalise is expected to take lawmakers on a tour of an offshore oil refinery in the Gulf Coast, while Griffin will lead Members on a tour of the Welspun Tubular plant that is building the physical pipeline destined for use in the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

With most of those tours occurring May 24 or 25, rank-and-file Members who don’t attend one of the events will be pushed to hold their own district-specific events that day, GOP aides said, and McCarthy will hold a press conference for national media midweek to tout Republicans’ efforts on energy.

According to talking points that will be circulated to members of the Conference, rank-and-file lawmakers are being encouraged to continue pushing the Republicans’ call for an “all-of-the-above” strategy to energy production while drawing distinctions between the two parties — all while connecting the issue to the broader economy.

For instance, the talking points note that the “economy remains in fragile condition, and across our country, family budgets are stretched to their limits only to be further stretched by the rise in gas prices.”

Similarly, the talking points argue, “The House has passed multiple energy bills that promote American energy independence, lower the cost of gasoline and create jobs here at home. Meanwhile, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have proposed more spending and higher taxes that will only set us back even further.”

Meanwhile, House Republicans are expected to roll out a series of energy legislative proposals as soon as next month.

Likely legislative items McCarthy and his HEAT group will bring to the floor over the summer include bills blocking Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at gas emissions and refineries, which Republicans have argued will result in significant price increases at the pump.

Republicans will also push for legislation to expand permitting for domestic oil and gas production on federal lands, a bill to require a commensurate increase in domestic production if Obama opens the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help temper price spikes and legislation designed to remove “roadblocks” to expanded development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

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