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Trump calls on Republicans against Biden’s energy policy, but sidesteps the huge climate bill

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump delivered a campaign-style energy speech Thursday during a day of meetings with Republicans in Congress, hitting trademark themes like “drill baby drill” and vowing to reverse it Biden According to him, the government’s policy hinders the development of fossil fuels and favors electric vehicles.

More than a half-dozen lawmakers who spoke to POLITICO and described the two meetings — first with House Republicans and then with Senate Republicans — said Trump’s comments were light on policy details, and that he did not directly addressed his interest in withdrawing the inflation reduction. Action. He also did not indicate which of the expanded clean energy tax incentives Republicans would have to withdraw if the GOP wins control of the White House and Congress in the November elections.

“He spent a third of his time talking about energy — in the context that energy is an inflation multiplier, that energy drives inflation,” said Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).And he talked about how Joe Biden has weaponized the federal government against American energy.”

Trump also criticized government mandates for electric vehicle purchases during Thursday’s address to Republican senators, echoing an oft-repeated line on the campaign trail.

Some Republicans who attended the rallies said it was smart for Trump to stick to a high-level vision for his potential second term, rather than identifying specific steps he would take to reverse Biden’s climate agenda, which would be fodder could be open to democratic attacks and at the same time confuse voters. .

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“There’s no point in getting too deep into the weeds until we win,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee who is close to Trump, said ahead of the meeting. “And the only way to win is to talk about this in reasonable terms. Because we could scare voters away with too big an image.”

But Democrats have focused their message in recent days on highlighting Republicans’ plans to repeal parts of the IRA next year, an effort to draw a sharp contrast between the president’s clean energy agenda Joe Biden and Trump’s support of the oil and gas industry.

“It’s one of their goals, which means the insulin cap goes away, the Medicare negotiations go away and all the tax breaks to fight climate change go away,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who faces a tough reelection race. “It’s going to be a big problem that I have to fight against.”

Democrats also aim to underscore the potential threats the repeal could have on the wave of investments that largely benefit Republican states and districts.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in remarks to environmental activists on Wednesday that if the Republican Party gains full control of the White House and Congress, he expects Republicans will follow through on their promise to target the IRA while try to put together a package of measures. conservative policy priorities that could fall under budget reconciliation.

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Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), who has made energy issues central to his Senate election campaign, said Thursday that Schumer’s comments slamming Republicans’ efforts to repeal the IRA through reconciliation “sow fear.” ‘ represented, adding that the discussion is premature.

House Speaker Mike Johnson met with Republican senators on Wednesday to lay the groundwork for the kind of policies the Republican Party would prioritize in reconciliation — the same complex process Democrats used to pass the IRA with a simple majority of votes to approve.

“We are and must prepare for a reconciliation package,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We look at things – IRA and other things – that we would like to redo or undo.”

Republicans have discussed, among other things, repealing IRA subsidies for clean energy and electric vehicles to offset the costs of a possible extension of corporate tax cuts under a 2017 law passed during the Trump administration and which expires next year.

But those plans — and the process of identifying specific IRA policies that could make cuts under the strict reconciliation rules — are still in their early stages, Republicans underscored.

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“We have to win first,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). “There are a lot of details we need to be able to work through and none of them have been worked out yet.”

Yet Democrats, who have stepped up their rhetoric against the oil and gas industry, are already sounding the alarm about the damage to the economy that repealing even parts of the IRA would cause, noting that only a fraction of the spending would come from the climate law is issued. the door.

“I take it very seriously that they will pass the Inflation Reduction Act and stop every possible aspect of it that has to do with climate change,” said Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The sad truth is that much of it is still fragile. Some of it is locked up. But our type of government is vulnerable to that kind of pendulum swing.”

A POLITICO analysis earlier this year of federal spending on infrastructure and energy under the IRA and three other laws found that only a small portion has been spent so far.

In fact, less than 17 percent of the $1.1 trillion these laws provided for direct investments in climate, energy and infrastructure was spent as of April, nearly two years after Biden signed the last statute.

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