Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee advanced legislation this week to cut the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by $1.4 billion. That represents about 17 percent of the agency's budget.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), top Democrat on the environment subcommittee, says it's easy to see what the GOP is trying to accomplish with such steep cuts.
"They are designed to disable EPA to prevent it from being able to carry out its mission," says Moran. "They're that deep; it' purposeful. This is not a matter of deficit reduction; this is a matter of disablement of an agency."
Republicans admit as much. They say the EPA deserves the cuts because it's been aggressively issuing regulations that are stifling jobs in Virginia's coal country and in industries across the United States.