What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Automobile Industry : H.R. 6. Energy/Vote on Amendment to Require the Environmental Protection Agency to Update Its Procedures for Rating Car Fuel Economies
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H.R. 6. Energy/Vote on Amendment to Require the Environmental Protection Agency to Update Its Procedures for Rating Car Fuel Economies
house Roll Call 120     Apr 20, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:

In this vote, the House passed an amendment offered by Nancy Johnson (R-CT) to H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its procedures for determining cars' fuel economy ratings in order to give consumers more accurate information about the cars they might be considering for purchase. Both Democrats, including Progressives, and Republicans claimed to be concerned about the inaccuracy of fuel economy labels on cars offered for sale. Initially taking the Progressive position, Rep. Johnson stated that the test used to determine car mileage was 30 years out-of-date, and her amendment would have required the EPA to update its testing procedures to reflect more accurately modern driving conditions. However, Johnson's amendment was essentially gutted by an amendment that was in turn offered to her amendment by Mike Rogers (R-MI), which mandated that only one test be required to determine auto mileage. Republicans and a few car-industry-friendly Democrats who backed Rogers's amendment had argued that the Johnson amendment would have unreasonably increased expenses for auto manufacturers and thus cost jobs by requiring a new test beyond the fuel economy test already required under a separate law, and/or that the Johnson amendment improperly altered those standards. Progressives had countered that the Johnson amendment would not have required an additional test and would not have cost jobs, but nevertheless, the Rogers amendment was passed and tacked onto the Johnson amendment. A large number of Democrats then joined those who had backed Rogers's changes to defeat the Progressive position and pass the amended Johnson amendment by an overwhelming 346 to 85. 121 Democrats voted with Republicans, even though the meat of Johnson's amendment had been removed by the passage of the Rogers amendment. So language to require updated procedures to determine cars' fuel economy ratings was included in the energy bill, but only after that language had been diluted. This result left in place the status quo, which does not provide accurate information to consumers regarding automobile fuel economy.

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