(USNewsMag.com) – After President Joe Biden threatened to veto H.R. 21, Republican Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise took to the House floor to defend the bill and condemn the President’s statements.
H.R. 21, titled the Strategic Production Response Act, was proposed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington State, introduced the potential legislation on January 9, 2023 with the intention of “limiting the drawdown of petroleum in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve” until a plan is developed by the Department of Energy to increase the amount of federal land that is leased for oil and gas production.
While the bill is still tied up by votes on amendments proposed by various members of the House of Representatives, the White House issued a statement to express its strong opposition to the bill, accusing it of arbitrary requirements and claiming that the legislation would “restrict the Administration’s ability to increase oil supply,” cause shortages, and create higher prices for America’s working-class families.
The Louisiana Representative also pushed back against the President’s claim that he had reduced gas prices by releasing 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a move which sent the Reserve to the lowest level recorded since the 1980s. Scalise fact-checked Biden’s claim and made the assertion that gas prices have increased by 50% since the Administration took office.
While the President blamed the increased gas prices on the war in Ukraine, dubbing it the “Putin price hike,” many have pointed to the Executive Order Biden signed in his first month in office which suspended new domestic oil and gas leases.
According to AAA, a gallon of regular gas has increased an average of 40 cents since Christmas.
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