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John S.
Republican IL 15

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4557, Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2016, and Providing for Proceedings During the Period from March 4, 2016, Through March 11, 2016

    by Representative John Shimkus

    Posted on 2016-03-03

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    Read More about Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4557, Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2016, and Providing for Proceedings During the Period from March 4, 2016, Through March 11, 2016

    SHIMKUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for the time to speak on the rule.



    Our process for a bill to get to the floor is it has to go through the Rules Committee. This was a very, very important bill. It was interesting in the debate, listening to the sides, because there is an argument by constituents of having clean bills: one bill, one issue, simply understood, vote on it, instead of this horse trading that sometimes gets proposed: you give me this for my giving you that. I can tell you one thing, I know in my district they really don't like this. They want us to be accountable for a bill.

    I also get frustrated with how easy it is to throw away jobs: I only have blank kilns in my State. Those are good-paying jobs for families, and they are important to the fabric of those communities. Just to say, ``Look, I have only got two. I don't really worry about them. Let's trade them off'' is really troublesome, and I am sorry we fall into that type of debate.

    This is really part of a bigger debate in that the courts have already done this with the Clean Power Plan, the climate change bill. The debate is, ``Okay. EPA, you can do the regulation. Do the regulation.'' What the EPA likes to do is do the regulation; and they play this game: ``We know it is not legal, so we will impose the regulation. We know it is not legal. We are going to force industry to comply,'' and then when the courts say it is not legal, they have already gone too far, and the jobs have been lost.

    That is factual. That is what happened in 2003. That is what happened when the EPA promulgated the MACT rules in 2003. The rules were vacated by the Federal court in 2007--vacated--which means you can't do it. But the industry already was forced to do it, either to spend millions and millions of dollars, or they had to close.

    So fast-forward. Where are we today? The courts have done this on the Clean Power Plan, the big climate change rule. What the Court just said for the first time, the Supreme Court said: No, we are not going to force the States to implement the Clean Power Plan until it is litigated in the courts. They put a stay on everyone and said: Don't do anything. Let's have the legislative- judicial debate and fight.

    That is what this bill does. Let's just have the litigation on the legality of this new rule. If it comes up that it is legal, then the industry is going to have to comply. But if it comes out that it is not legal, guess what. We are going to save jobs. We are going to save communities, and we are going to save the family income for two kilns in a State or maybe more, depending upon the brick-producing capability of individual States.

    So I am down here just to thank the Rules Committee for bringing this bill to the floor.

    I look forward to the debate. It is much more than brick kilns. It is about when can the EPA force a company to do something. We would hope they could only do it after it has been ruled legal by the courts if someone challenges a rule, and that is what this does.

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