Sat, 23 Sep 2023

WASHINGTON D.C.: A small group of Republicans in the House of Representatives stopped a bill supported by their leader, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, on regulating gas-fueled stoves, raising concerns about the party's ability to advance other legislation.

The revolt is due to an ongoing conflict over an agreement to raise the US debt ceiling.

In a surprise move, about a dozen conservatives sided with Democrats in a 220-206 vote that prevented the House from adopting a gas-stove bill, which is backed by the Republican leadership.

It also highlighted the ability of a small number of conservatives to challenge the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who heads a narrow Republican majority.

After the failed vote, McCarthy met with some of the rebels behind closed doors, but the chamber finished its business for the day without any further attempts to pass the bill.

To reduce fossil-fuel emissions that contribute to climate change, some state and local governments are already restricting gas-fueled furnaces, water heaters and stoves in new buildings.

If passed by the House, the Republican bill would have faced resistance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Representative Ralph Norman, one of the conservative House Republicans who voted against the bill, accused McCarthy of a "bait and switch" in his negotiations with Democratic President Joe Biden to raise the debt ceiling.

Norman and other Republicans are pushing for much higher spending cuts than the agreed $1.3 trillion.

Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill aimed at preventing the US Consumer Product Safety Commission from declaring gas stoves to be hazardous or restricting their sale.

Another bill scheduled for debate this week aims to restrict energy conservation standards and prevent the Department of Energy from issuing rules that would ban gas stoves or raise their prices.

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