by Katie Weatherford, 2/25/2014
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on a series of anti-regulatory proposals during a campaign targeting important public health and environmental safeguards. While House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has dubbed the campaign #StopGovtAbuse Week, the proposed legislation is in fact designed to delay or halt the rulemaking process by adding time-consuming and redundant procedural hurdles, by providing regulated industries additional opportunities to delay the process, and by stripping away the public’s right to petition agencies when they fail to act.
We have seen many of these proposals before. However, during Cantor’s week of damaging bills, four anti-regulatory proposals introduced over the past year will be re-introduced as one piece of legislation with a new title, the Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency (ALERRT) Act (H.R. 2804). A separate vote will be taken on the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2013 (H.R. 899). Continue reading “House Republicans Return to Attacking Public Health and Environmental Protections”
by Ronald White, 2/3/2014
Despite an attempt by some to portray the $299 million increase in EPA’s overall fiscal year 2014 budget as a positive compromise, those in Congress who oppose developing and enforcing public health and environmental safeguards have much to celebrate. Of particular concern, the budget includes major cuts to EPA’s operations that develop and enforce public health and environmental protections.
EPA’s FY 14 budget of $8.2 billion, though minimally higher than the FY 14 requested amount, represents a $144 million drop from the president’s FY 13 requested budget, a $249 million reduction from the FY 12 funding amount, and a staggering $1.8 billion below EPA’s FY 11 budget of $10 billion. While $8.2 billion may still seem like a huge budget, more than $3.5 billion (43 percent) is directly passed through to states, localities, and tribes in assistance grants to support their environmental protection programs. Continue reading “EPA Sustains Major Cuts to Developing and Enforcing Safeguards in FY 14 Appropriations”
Federal agencies have started feeling the impact of the across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, that went into effect March 1. Plans to furlough employees and cut programs are underway at many of the agencies charged with issuing and enforcing public health and safety standards. For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these additional funding cuts will further drain already decreasing resources and impair the agency’s ability to protect our air, water, and health. Continue reading “Environmental Protections Threatened by Sequestration and Funding Cuts”