May 7, 2019

Whitehouse, Udall, Cardin Lead Call to Keep Appropriations Bills Free of Anti-Environmental Riders

41 Senators signal no path forward for anti-environmental riders in the Senate

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for FY 2020 appropriations bills to be free of unrelated policy riders that would harm public health and the environment.  The letter was signed by 41 Senate Democrats, signaling that there is no path for anti-environmental riders in the Senate.

“Pointless anti-environmental riders can only lead to gridlock and brinkmanship,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “The American people expect Congress to work together to fund their government in a bipartisan fashion, and we’ve been able to do that successfully when both sides have agreed to stand down on ‘poison pill’ riders.”

“Appropriations bills should be about investing in our priorities – not jamming in unrelated, anti-environment riders that would gut protections for our clean air, clean water, and public health,” Senator Udall said. “As the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, I have proudly helped to lead the fight against anti-environment riders for many years running.  Last year, we came together in a bipartisan way to produce a Senate funding bill for our public lands and the environment that was free of any new toxic riders—enabling the bill to pass the full Senate on a strong bipartisan vote for the first time in nine years.  I am hopeful that we can harness that same spirit of bipartisan cooperation moving forward.”

“Appropriations bills should not be loaded with hyperpartisan policy riders that would gut our nation’s environmental laws. We need to keep our focus on funding programs that protect our safe water, clean air and healthy lands,” said Senator Cardin.  “Major policy decisions that impact our economy and our environment deserve a full debate rather than getting hastily tacked onto a spending bill.”

The text of the letter is available here.

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