Conservatives block debate on regulation, gas stove bills

By Manuel Quiñones, Nico Portuondo, Mia McCarthy | 06/06/2023 04:18 PM EDT

Member of the Freedom Caucus wanted to send leaders a message.

Ralph Norman listening during a meeting.

Rep. Ralph Noman (R-S.C.) was among the GOP lawmakers who stalled debate on priority bills to protest party leaders. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House conservatives blocked debate on legislation against gas stove rules Tuesday afternoon in protest of their leadership team.

The House voted down 206-220 the debate parameters for four bills: two against gas stove regulations and another two to limit the administration’s rulemaking power.

Twelve Republicans voted with Democrats against proceeding to the measures. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined them so he could eventually move for the chamber to reconsider.


Many Freedom Caucus members are still smarting about the debt ceiling deal that didn’t cut spending as much as conservatives wanted.

“The deal that we went in with versus the bill that came out was not the same,” said Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.). “We [have] insisted truthfulness, sincere cuts and putting economic security to the forefront.”

The White House released statements earlier Tuesday threatening to veto the regulations bills. It also expressed concern about the gas stove measures but stopped short of a veto threat.

The administration said the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act,” H.R.277, would jeopardize “critical safeguards that protect public safety, grow our economy, and advance the public interest.”

The bill, a conservative priority, would require congressional approval for major rules. The White House called that “an unwieldy, unnecessary, and time-consuming hurdle.”

An administration statement of policy said the “Separation of Powers Restoration Act,” H.R. 288, would “undermine not only separation of powers, but also political accountability, national uniformity, and predictability” and would “fail to respect the expertise” from each agency.

The legislation would end so-called Chevron deference, which gives agencies leeway to interpret ambiguous statutes. Conservatives have been trying to chip away at the legal doctrine in Congress and through the courts.

Also blocked were the “Save Our Gas Stoves Act,” H.R. 1640, to stop planned and future Department of Energy regulations on gas stoves, and the “Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act,” H.R. 1615, to block the Consumer Product Safety Commission rules on gas stoves.

CPSC currently has no planned rules on gas stoves, but the White House said the legislation would interfere with the agency’s independent nature.

On pending DOE efficiency plans, the administration said, “The proposed standards are based on data-driven analysis and longstanding statutory factors.”