Hoeven Leading Legislation to Block Defense Department's Green New Deal Mandates

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, introduced the Focus on the Mission Act (S.27), legislation to stop the Department of Defense (DoD) from imposing a new environmental rule on federal contractors, both large and small, that would ultimately drive up costs for our national defense. Hoeven previously sponsored this legislation in the 117th Congress and intends to lead legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the rule should it be finalized.  

“These burdensome regulations would undermine the mission of the DoD, harming our national security and driving up costs for taxpayers,” said Hoeven. “The Biden administration should rescind this proposed rule immediately, and instead focus on ensuring our servicemembers have the capabilities and equipment they need to counter our nation’s adversaries.”

The legislation builds on Hoeven’s efforts in December, when he led all of his Republican Senate colleagues in pressing DoD Secretary Lloyd Austin to rescind the rule and outlining concerns with the proposal, including: the significant regulatory burden in requiring a company to report not only its own emissions but emissions that occur elsewhere; increased costs resulting in budget inefficiencies at DoD; and the potential use of environmental reports in awarding future contracts. The full text of the letter is available here.

In addition to Hoeven, the Focus on the Mission Act is cosponsored by Senators James Risch (R-Idaho), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

BACKGROUND: DoD’s proposal would require those receiving more than $7.5 million in federal contracts to provide a detailed accounting of GHG emissions within one year. Additionally, the rule would require those receiving more than $50 million in contracts to develop reduction targets within two years. The proposed rule was published in November and the comment period for the rule is slated to end on February 13, 2023, after which a final rule will be formulated.