Politics

Gaetz's Bill to Abolish EPA Gets Little Traction

Environmental activists more concerned about the agency’s nominee for director

Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., right, gets a fist bump from freshman Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., after Ryan was re-elected to the top spot in the House. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s bill to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency is not getting much traction in either party.

And with the freshman’s bill going against the grain of the respect for the environment in the state, he’s not getting much support from his Florida colleagues in Congress, either, the Palm Beach Post reported.

“The American people are drowning in rules and regulation promulgated by unelected bureaucrats,” Gaetz wrote to fellow lawmakers in a letter obtained by Buzzfeed. “And the environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender.”

Despite criticism for the EPA, Rep. Brian Mast told the Post he did not agree with Gaetz’s legislation.

“While there’s no doubt that far too often over the last eight years the EPA has been used as a tool to advance a one-sided political agenda, indiscriminately eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency will hurt communities like ours who rely on clean air and water to boost tourism, help small businesses and improve the quality of life for local families,” Mast said.

Similarly, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., did not specifically comment on Gaetz’s legislation, but said he supported eliminating many of the regulations that happened during the Obama administration.

Melinda Pierce, legislative director of the Sierra Club, said she is less worried about Gaetz’s bill than coming confirmation of President Donald Trump’s EPA director Scott Pruitt.

“The more pernicious threat we face is the confirmation of someone like Scott Pruitt, who has been a foe of the organization he’s been nominated to lead,” she told the Post.

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