House Passes Bill Protecting Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle Sales

The House of Representatives this week passed a bill to preserve the market availability of new motor vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.

By a mostly party-line vote of 221 to 197, the House passed H.R. 4468, the “Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act” or CARS Act (please, stop with the acronyms).

The bill is very short, and does three things. First, it nullifies the proposed rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency on May 5, 2023 setting more restrictive emissions standards for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles for model years 2027 through 2032.

Second, the bill amends the Clean Air Act to provide that no future EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act can “mandate the use of any specific technology,” or “result in limited availability of new motor vehicles based on the type of new motor vehicle engine in such new motor vehicles.”

Finally, the bill requires the EPA to review its existing regulations and scrub them of anything violating the new law within 24 months.

All 216 Republicans who were present voted for the bill, as did five Democrats (Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Donald Davis of North Carolina, Jared Golden of Maine, and Mary Peltola of Alaska).

The bill does not appear likely to make any progress in the Senate, and was brought to the House floor during what has become “messaging bill season.”

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