Congressman Denny Rehberg today joined House colleagues from both parties in passing H.R. 3630, Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act.  In addition to preventing a payroll tax increase, this legislation extends and reforms unemployment benefits and provides job-creating opportunities to reduce unemployment.  Rehberg’s legislation to expedite a permitting decision on the Keystone XL pipeline was included as a major job-creating provision.

The legislation also included language from H.R. 2250, which Rehberg has cosponsored.  This legislation addresses four interrelated Environmental Protection Agency rules, commonly referred to as the Boiler MACT rules.  They govern emissions from approximately 200,000 boilers and incinerators nationwide, and would require factories, restaurants, schools, churches, and even farms to conduct emissions testing and comply with standards of control that vary by boiler size, feedstock, and available technologies.  According to EPA estimates, the cost of compliance will be $5.8 billion up front and $2 billion per year.  The House-passed legislation would improve job creation by providing necessary regulatory relief by requiring EPA to re-work it's poorly constructed rules, extending the compliance deadline and requiring emissions standards to be realistic.

Despite many valuable aspects of this package - including the so-called “doc fix” so that physicians do not face a 27.4% rate cute beginning Jan. 1 - Rehberg expressed concerns about a provision in that reduces Medicare reimbursement rates to hospitals for non-emergency outpatient care.  Rehberg is working with his colleagues in the Senate to find a more suitable offset for the doc fix.