Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold fellow Democrats to account Wednesday on several controversial energy policies of the Biden administration.
Republicans will use a House rule dating back to 1879 to force the committee to vote on resolutions that would require information from the administration about its depletion of the nation’s oil reserves and talks about declaring a national climate emergency.
They also plan to constrain votes on getting the administration’s internal strategies for blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for high gasoline prices, any consideration to ban the export of petroleum products and the nation’s power generation protection plans to protect Americans from blackouts. .
Democrats will fight the measures, but the GOP tactic will force debate and votes on a slew of hot energy policies that Republicans say have raised prices and discouraged energy production.
Among Mr. Biden’s most controversial directives was the release of 180 million barrels of oil over six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Mr. Biden tapped the reserve in an effort to lower prices at the pump, a move that Republicans say jeopardizes national security.
The U.S. oil inventory was about 434,000 barrels as of September 9, the lowest level since November 1984, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
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A House Republican aide said they were forcing Democrats to “make a choice between getting answers on behalf of the American people or continuing to filibuster to protect President Biden’s radical agenda and abuse of power.”
The Democratic majority on the panel did not respond to a request for comment.
Republicans are forcing committee votes using what is called inquiry resolution, a strategy often deployed by the minority to force the majority into uncomfortable debates. By reviewing resolutions in committee, Democrats will prevent Republicans from forcing votes through the full chamber.