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Cantor Agenda Has Repeal Push on Energy Rules, Obamacare

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. House will take up legislation that would limit federal regulations for energy companies and roll back part of the 2010 health-care law, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a memo.

The agenda was sent to lawmakers yesterday as Republicans seek to move from a debate over raising the U.S. debt limit and refocus the House agenda toward curtailing Obamacare and other Democratic measures they say restrict economic activity. The House returns to Washington Feb. 25 after a week off.

“Our plan is to reduce the middle-class squeeze; create an environment for economic growth and job creation; reform our health-care system to one of patient-centered care and lowers costs; and ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to get ahead by accessing a quality education,” Cantor wrote in the memo.

Cantor of Virginia said the Republican-led House will consider at least four energy bills, including measures to increase propane transportation, speed permits for coal and natural gas projects and reduce Environmental Protection Agency regulation for electric utilities and coal mining.

That push will begin next week with a bill, H.R. 2804, that would require more disclosure of anticipated costs to regulated businesses while limiting settlement costs when agencies are sued by outside groups. It’s a practice environmental groups support and Republicans deride as “sue and settle.”

Health Insurance

Republicans also plan to advance a measure to roll back part of Obamacare. Current law requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance starting in 2015 to those working at least 30 hours a week. A measure planned for early March, H.R. 2575, would eliminate that requirement.

The House has voted 49 times to repeal, defund or roll back the 2010 health-care law since Republicans took control in 2011, according to a tally kept by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office.

Republicans have said the 30-hour-a-week rule gives businesses an incentive to trim full-time workers. Cantor’s memo encourages GOP lawmakers to “collect personal stories from your district and be prepared to highlight them over the coming weeks.”

Republicans also plan legislation limiting exemptions from laws like Obamacare, starting with a Judiciary Committee hearing on the issue next week.

The bills are expected to pass with mostly Republican support. Many are similar to or are re-runs of earlier House measures that didn’t advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Wallbank in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at

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