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Republicans have spent the past two years on the warpath against the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency. As the EPA rolled out an ambitious slate of rules aimed at stopping climate change and curbing power-plant pollution, Republicans on the campaign trail and Capitol Hill slammed the agency as the embodiment of government overreach and so-called “job-killing regulations.”
Despite the outrage, the GOP’s efforts to stop the agency’s agenda haven’t succeeded—all of the many bills to block or delay EPA’s new regulations have failed in Congress.
But lawmakers have found another way to strike out at the agency they love to hate—by slashing its budget. Over the past two years, Congress has cut EPA’s budget by a whopping 18 percent, from $10.3 billion to $8.5 billion. And that’s not counting the effects of the across-the-board spending cuts that took effect with sequestration Friday.