The Senate's vote to overturn a Biden administration regulation that requires stringent environmental reviews of major infrastructure projects was a "real victory for the working men and women in America who build stuff," Sen. Dan Sullivan, who sponsored the measure to overturn the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, tells Newsmax.
"Our permit system is just a mess full of red tape," the Alaska Republican said Thursday night on Newsmax's "Rob Schmitt Tonight," adding that former President Donald Trump's administration had done a "great job" of easing regulations only to see that change when President Joe Biden took office.
"Even after the bipartisan infrastructure bill was passed in April, they put out a new regulation on permitting, especially infrastructure projects, but on all projects," said Sullivan. "There's no doubt that the whole point of their rule was to make it harder to actually build things in America. I mean, the rule is a total disaster. It's a job killer."
Thursday night's victory came in part through the vote of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who was the only Democrat voting to overturn the permitting rule. The move was approved by 50-47, with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., not being present.
The measure to overturn NEPA will now go to the Democrat-controlled House, which is not expected to move the Senate Republicans' plan forward.
Sullivan told Newsmax that the measure against NEPA came through the Congressional Review Act, which allows a resolution to be brought to the Senate floor to rescind such rules.
"We got a huge group of Americans, [including] farmers, and building trades, you know, the unions that build stuff, the energy sector," said Sullivan. "A giant cross-section of Americans supported me and my efforts … it was a bipartisan victory."
Ironically, though, Democrats who had voted to push through the infrastructure bill could not be convinced to remove the regulations that are keeping the projects that it was to fund from being built, said Sullivan.
"Why the heck did the Biden administration issue a reg after the infrastructure bill was passed to undermine the building of infrastructure? It makes no sense," he said.
The issue is, Sullivan continued, that the "radical left enviros still have a stranglehold on policy out of the White House [and] were pushing this to kill infrastructure projects. But we had a good victory today."
The White House put out a statement that if the bill to overturn NEPA gets through the House, Biden plans to veto it, but Sullivan said he has a message for the president.
"You used to call yourself 'working class Joe' and 'blue-collar Joe,' and now you're going to side with the radical environmentalists over the working men and women of America," Sullivan said, addressing Biden. "I hope we get this on your desk and Mr. President, you better not veto it."
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