‘A mad solution to an imaginary problem’

Following up on an item from the other day, House Republicans are still hard at work, tackling imaginary concerns.

The House on Thursday approved legislation Republicans said was aimed at ensuring the EPA cannot regulate so-called “farm dust.”

The House on Thursday afternoon approved legislation Republicans said was aimed at ensuring that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot regulate so-called “farm dust.”

The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, H.R. 1633, which would prevent the EPA from issuing any new rule over the next year that regulates coarse particulate matter, or “nuisance dust,” passed in a 268-150 vote.

Here’s the final roll call — the bill enjoyed unanimous Republican support, as well as the votes of 33 House Democrats.

Just to refresh some memories, the legislation intends to stop proposed regulation that hasn’t, in reality, been proposed.

As Tim Noah explained this week, “It’s political bullshit. There is no pending farm-dust regulation. What there is, is an attempt by Republicans to persuade everybody that there is a pending farm-dust regulation so they can pass a new law exempting the agricultural industry … from an existing clean-air regulation that hardly ever affects farms (but, when it does, addresses a legitimate health issue).”

In other words, with plenty of real-world solutions in need of policymakers’ attention, the House yesterday approved legislation to address a problem that doesn’t exist.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) did a nice job explaining to her colleagues what an absurd waste of time this was. “This session of Congress has felt to many of us like a trip into Alice’s Wonderland,” she said. “While our nation struggles with a devastating economy, we do nothing about jobs or getting Americans back to work. Instead, we repeatedly fall down the rabbit hole of extreme legislation, and now with this [bill] … it seems that we’re even having tea with the Cheshire cat. To paraphrase our friend the Cheshire Cat, ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad. You must be mad, or you wouldn’t have come here.’ … [The bill] is a mad solution to an imaginary problem.”