One day after being elected Speaker of the House, Republican Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana immediately pushed the GOP’s anti-environment agenda by bringing H.R. 4394, the 2024 Energy-Water Development Appropriations Bill, to the floor for a vote.
PA-01 Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s vote helped the environmentally destructive bill clear the House with a 210 to 199 tally.
In a letter to House Members, the League of Conservation Voters, along with 24 additional environmental groups that include Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club, encouraged lawmakers to oppose the bill.
“This legislation, along with the many harmful proposed amendments to it, includes countless provisions that would lock in fossil fuel infrastructure, increase our dependence on foreign energy, and cede leadership in clean energy innovation to our competitors – all while raising energy costs for everyday Americans,” they wrote.
The letter also noted how the bill slashes billions of dollars from critical energy and water programs that would ultimately reduce costs for American consumers and businesses, jeopardize water resources and harm communities already disproportionately impacted by pollution and the climate crisis.
In voting for the bill, Fitzpatrick affirmed his support of fossil fuel companies and weakened his campaign argument that he is a pro-environment “moderate” Republican.
In addition to eliminating billions of dollars to fund clean energy, the legislation removes safeguards for drinking water, offers up precious undeveloped land for mining and, as detailed in a press release by New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, Chair of the House Republican Conference, “Prohibits the use of funds to promote or advance Critical Race Theory (CRT),” and “prohibits the implementation, administration, or enforcement of the Biden Administration’s executive orders on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).”
Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry (R-PA10) attempted to add an amendment that would have eliminated funding for the Delaware River Basin Commission, but failed to garner enough votes to be adopted.
H.R. 4394 is the fifth of 12 appropriation bills that must be passed to avoid a government shutdown in November.