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The IRA stakes in the speaker's race

Illustration of caution tape with dollar signs on it covering the Capitol Dome

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fate of the Inflation Reduction Act is intertwined with the House speaker's race.

Why it matters: House Republicans' funding bills would make large rescissions to IRA money, and many in the GOP want a lead negotiator who will fight for those cuts in talks with the Senate.

Driving the news: GOP lawmakers started to land on a new temporary funding plan as Jim Jordan's speaker candidacy fell apart last week.

  • The idea, which Jordan floated during his speaker campaign, is to enact a CR into next year — some say through mid-April.
  • It's a gambit for more time to pass individual appropriations bills and apply pressure on the Senate and the White House by using a mandatory 1% budget cut that kicks in at the end of the year.
  • "With [this] approach, we can get some policy wins in the appropriations bills," Rep. Thomas Massie told Jael.

Between the lines: A lot of the total cuts Republicans make in their funding bills are from IRA accounts, said Heritage Foundation senior policy analyst David Ditch.

  • It's a laundry list of rescissions, including at least $11 billion from the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and $1.4 billion from its IRA climate justice initiatives. (The GOP's HR 1 would repeal the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.)
  • At DOE, Republicans would slash $5.7 billion from DOE energy efficiency rebates and support for states and localities upgrading their building codes.
  • Ditch said if the IRA rescissions are removed from the House bills, the spending levels would be "roughly on par" with the fiscal 2023 omnibus package — and lawmakers have little appetite to go after much besides the IRA.
  • This is part of why Energy-Water Approps Chair Chuck Fleischmann says it's imperative for Republicans to get some IRA rescissions done.
  • "Basically we're taking credit for those dollars, which have in some instances provided so much money [that it] dwarfs the annual size of a typical appropriations bill for that year," he told Nick.

Yes, but: Republicans will need Senate Democrats to do any of this, and Democrats aren't going to demolish their signature climate law.

  • We don't even know if Democrats will agree to kick the can into next year.
  • Still, it's worth noting that the anti-IRA push is going to dominate the next month of funding talks — and will be coded as simply a push to reduce spending to fiscal 2022 levels.
  • Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman said he sees the long CR approach as a way to create leverage. I don't think anybody really wants the 1% across-the-board cuts," he said. "It's bad for defense if we do that."

The bottom line: No matter who the speaker is, another short-term spending bill looks inevitable at this point.

  • "I think everybody realizes there will be another CR," Rep. Mike Simpson told reporters Friday.
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