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House GOP to focus on repealing environmental, labor regulations

The House Republican agenda this fall will focus on repealing environmental and labor regulations that GOP lawmakers say are driving up the cost of doing business and discouraging employers from hiring new workers.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., says in a memo to his fellow Republicans that as soon as Congress returns to Washington next week from its August recess, he will start bringing up bills to repeal or restrict federal regulations. He also said the House would act on a small business tax deduction.

The GOP approach to job creation comes as President Obama prepares to announce after Labor Day a broad jobs package expected to include tax cuts, infrastructure projects and help for the unemployed.

"By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations, we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more workers," Cantor said in his memo, released Monday.

He said that in the first week after Congress returns, the House will vote on a bill preventing the National Labor Relations Board from restricting where an employer can locate in the United States.

The bill is in response to an NLRB lawsuit against Boeing Co. claiming that the manufacturer violated labor law in opening up a new airplane production line in South Carolina. The agency alleged that Boeing was punishing workers in Washington state for past strikes. It wants the company to return the work to Washington. Boeing denies the claims.

The House also will consider a bill to delay implementation of new Environmental Protection Agency emission and air pollution rules for utility plants until the full impact of the Obama administration's regulatory agenda has been studied. Cantor said the new rules could drive up electricity bills in many parts of the country by 12 to 24 percent.

Also on the agenda are new EPA emission rules for boilers that Cantor said could put 200,000 jobs at risk and similar regulations for cement and coal ash.

Later this year, Republicans will take a look at regulations in the new health care law.

They also are expected to take action to counter expected EPA rule-making on ozone pollution, farm dust and greenhouse gas.

Since taking control of the House in January, Republicans have passed numerous bills easing restrictions on energy development or increasing general scrutiny over federal rulemaking. The Democratic-controlled Senate has ignored most of the House legislation.

The office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a statement saying the GOP "no-jobs" agenda was in response to Republican strategists warning that their concentration on cutting spending could lose independent voters. It said the Republican agenda would drive jobs overseas, impede worker rights to organize and jeopardize clean air and water.

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