Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Floor Statement in Support of his Amendment to the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act

Jun 20, 2012
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile

WASHINGTON — Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) introduced an amendment to H.R. 4480, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act.  Rush’s amendment ensures that this bill helps lower gasoline prices and create jobs.  Rush made the following statement from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of his amendment:

“Mr. Speaker, while gas prices have subsided over the past few months, Americans are still very concerned about the issue of jobs and high unemployment.

In my district and in the African-American community, in general, joblessness is far higher than the national average with some communities experiencing unemployment rates of up to 50 percent.

Yet, even with these staggering figures, we are here today debating a bill that would do absolutely nothing to address this critical issue.

Mr. Speaker, the House will only be in session a little over 20 more days before the August recess, and after that, the House will barely be in session until after the election.

During this limited time we should be focusing on legislation that would create jobs and move America towards a smarter energy future that is less vulnerable to the whims of the world oil market.

However, there is nothing in H.R. 4480 that would do anything to address the issues most important to the American people: jobs or gas prices.

Mr. Speaker, the amendment I am offering today gets right to the heart of this issue and simply states: ‘Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the administrator of the Energy Information Administration shall make a determination as to whether implementation of this Act is projected to lower gasoline prices or create jobs in the United States within 10 years.’

However, if the administrator of the EIA determines that implementation of this Act is not projected to lower gasoline prices or create jobs within 10 years, then the most egregious provisions of this bill, Sections 205 and 206, which attack existing Clean Air Act protections, would sunset and would cease to be in effect.

Mr. Speaker, provisions in this bill, such as Title II, the Gasoline Regulations Act, use the backdrop of high unemployment and fluctuating gas prices as a ruse to once again attack the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act, without doing a single thing to actually reduce the cost that Americans are paying at the pump pr deliver more jobs to the American people.

Mr. Speaker, Congress should not remove longstanding Clean Air Act requirements for EPA to set ambient air quality standards at the level necessary to protect human health.

Nor should the majority attempt to block and delay several EPA air quality and public health protections under the guise of falsely claiming that these attacks on EPA would actually create jobs or reduce gas prices.

Time and again over the past year and a half this Congress, under the majority party’s leadership, has voted to roll back provisions of the Clean Air Act at the behest of a few of the nation’s dirtiest air polluters.

And once again I urge my Republican colleagues to stand with the American people and allow the agency and laws that we have put in place to protect the public health to do the job that Congress established them to do.

I urge all of my colleagues to vote for the Rush amendment and with that I yield back the balance of my time.