News & Resources
This resource bank contains FY 2018 budget cycle news articles, op-eds, editorials, blogs, press releases and other resources from Clean Budget Coalition members and allies. Use the controls below to search, sort and filter. Content is added daily.
“What the House passed today does not bring us any closer to responsibly funding the government, and it will not pass the Senate,” Leahy said in a Sept. 14 press release. Further weakening the legislation’s chances are amendments added by the House Rules Committee, including one that seeks to prohibit funding for OSHA’s Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule. An amendment that called for a 10 percent cut to MSHA funding and staffing failed, as did one that called for a 1 percent cut to the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and their related agencies. A proposed amendment that blocked funding for OSHA’s regulation on respirable crystalline silica was not brought to a vote. “[The bill] contains poison-pill riders that have no place in the appropriations process,” Leahy said in the release.
Last Thursday, the House passed a $1.2 trillion FY 2018 omnibus bill, H.R. 3354, by a vote of 211-198. The House spending package has prompted debates over topline spending numbers as well as the inclusion of policy riders (i.e. policies that are attached to spending bills that do not relate to spending). Much to Democrats’ chagrin, the House omnibus bill would block funds for Planned Parenthood, cut funding for non-defense agencies such as USDA and EPA and provide funding for portions of a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
The House voted Thursday to pass a $1.2 trillion government-wide spending bill for fiscal 2018. For the Interior and EPA portion, the bill included cuts to numerous major programs and policy riders aimed at overturning or preventing regulations. One such provision would block the EPA from enforcing the Obama administration's methane rule for oil and natural gas drilling, which the Trump administration is working to roll back. The House voted on that provision Wednesday. It also voted for an amendment to block the federal government from using the social cost of carbon, an accounting mechanism for regulations that Trump has already scuttled.
The House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that contains five riders, or amendments, that curtail the District's ability to govern itself, including repealing or blocking funding for two D.C. laws that have already been implemented.
The U.S. House has voted in favor of a measure that prohibits the D.C. government from using funds to carry out a local non-discrimination law called the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. As it stands, the law makes it illegal for employers in the District to discriminate against workers based on their decision to use birth control, get an abortion, or any other reproductive health decisions. The D.C. Council passed the law in 2014, and members of Congress have attempted to block its implementation every year since. The House measure to block the law was introduced by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) as an amendment to an appropriations bill. On Thursday, the House voted 214-194 in favor of including the amendment. Palmer introduced a similar measure last year; it passed in the House, but was never voted on in the Senate.
League of Conservation Voters Deputy Legislative Director Alex Taurel released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3354, an appropriations bill that includes dozens of harmful policy riders and slashes funding for priorities like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Last week, Democratic leaders in Congress negotiated with President Trump to ensure that our government stays fully funded for the next three months. Today, Republicans in the House are forcing a vote on a long-term funding bill that is full of the wrong priorities. It is a cruel bill, and I staunchly oppose it. In addition to cutting critical initiatives that help families and businesses succeed, the bill also includes dozens and dozens of damaging “policy riders.” These controversial policy changes – like defunding Planned Parenthood and cutting off funding for the Affordable Care Act– have no place in a bill that we need to keep our government running.
The House bill does cut more than $530 million from the agency's $8 billion budget, slashing it to less than the agency was spending in 2006. Final passage by the House will likely come Thursday, but any differences with a Senate version will need to be reconciled. The bill contained hundreds of amendments, many of them "riders" of the kind attached to appropriations bills to score policy points. Dozens of these proposals have drawn criticism from environmental groups.
The House is moving toward approval of a spending bill that contains a provision to kill the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to use legislative means to stop the regulation. The House was set to vote on more than two dozen amendments to the appropriations measure Wednesday afternoon. The bill, along with the so-called rider on the DOL rule, is headed for certain approval by the end of the week.
Once again, the time has come to keep the Government open. Congress controls the purse strings and ever since the 2013 Government shutdown debacle, Congress has opted to punt on passing a budget. Last week, they passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) temporarily keeping the Government open at current levels though the first week of December. One of the major hurdles Congress deals with during appropriations season is the policy rider. Written as a budget amendment, policy riders typically forbid the Government from spending any money to perform a function the law otherwise requires. Often, the purpose is to slow or stop regulations.
GOP members of Congress and their counterparts in the Administration have somehow not grown tired of brazenly attacking fundamental environmental protections. Case-in-point: Wednesday, September 13th, the House Natural Resources Committee is holding a markup on seven bills that threaten the role of science and citizen engagement in federal decision-making on public lands, resources, and wildlife. By continuing a dangerous trend of limiting public involvement in government decisions, subverting scientific considerations in favor of political calculations, and undermining the rule of law, these bills and their sponsors not only attack our environment—they attack the foundation of our democracy.
Although Republicans appeared to have rejected the White House’s call for sharp cuts to the EPA, their disdain for the agency has reappeared as the House debated amendments to the often contentious Interior-Environment spending bill on the House floor last week. The 80 amendments House lawmakers sifted through consisted of Democrats’ attempts to remove what they described as harmful environmental riders from the measure, and Republicans’ measures to further reduce spending on environmental programs and give the Trump administration more authority to advance its deregulatory agenda. The Democratic amendments were mostly thwarted by the GOP majority.
The Senate bill is without any labor-related policy riders seen in the House version. It also “rejects” the Trump administration’s proposal to merge the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a DOL subagency in charge of monitoring federal contractors’ affirmative action and nondiscrimination compliance. The House version would cut 11 percent from DOL and NLRB funding. It also includes a number of labor-related policy riders, including one to undo the Browning-Ferris decision on joint employment.
The House adopted an amendment to its massive fiscal 2018 spending package that would prevent livestock operations from having to report air emissions of ammonia and other hazardous substances. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., argued that the reporting requirement was needed to protect rural residents who may be harmed from the emissions. “Policy riders like this do not belong in the appropriations bills. And the EPA should either accept the court decision or they should appeal the court decision,” she said.
As debate continues on the spending bill, dozens of environmental amendments could receive votes. Despite sharp cuts and regressive policy riders, there is a significant portion of the House who believe this spending bill is not extreme enough. A number of amendments would make bad legislation even worse for our public lands.
Today the U.S. Senate passed a package of bills to provide emergency assistance to Hurricane Harvey victims, extend the debt ceiling and continue to fund government operations for the next three months. The legislation is free of harmful, anti-environmental riders that have been inserted into spending legislation in the past and are pending on the House floor.
We write to strongly urge you to oppose the campaign finance riders that are attached to the House Financial Services appropriations bill scheduled to be considered today by the House. House leaders have prevented floor consideration of serious campaign finance reform measures since they took control of the House in 2011. Instead of following regular order in the consideration of such legislation, they have used riders attached to appropriations bills to enact damaging campaign finance-related provisions while avoiding any opportunity for the House to consider or vote on the provisions separately.
On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, we urge you to oppose H.R. 3354. This bill does not responsibly or adequately fund the federal government or the many programs and thousands of civil servants tasked with implementing our nation’s landmark environmental laws, laws that protect our health, air, climate, water, oceans, wildlife, and treasured American landscapes.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment by a vote of 215 to 196 to block a 2015 rule issued by the National Park Service to protect grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes and caribou on public lands in Alaska from egregious and unsustainable killing practices.
Congressional Republicans need to put politics aside and do what’s best for the country. It’s never a good time for a costly and disruptive government shutdown. But in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s unprecedented flooding and with another terrifying storm barreling toward Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, now is not the time for high stakes brinkmanship on the budget or the debt ceiling. Putting politics aside also means passing a clean CR. The CR cannot and must not contain any of the hundreds of poison pill policy riders lawmakers have proposed that do nothing but shower corporate lobbyists with handouts and ideological extremists with special favors. These measures have no place in a CR – or in the final spending package lawmakers agree to in December.
One of Congress’s highest priorities now that they’re back is to pass legislation to keep the federal government running. Current funding for the federal government is set to run out on September 30. We expect initial supplemental funding for Hurricane Harvey relief, which could possibly be attached to a clean debt ceiling increase, to pass as soon as this week. We will likely also see a clean temporary bill to fund the federal government while Congress works on the final full year funding bill. A quick note about “clean” bills: when Congress refers to passing a clean bill that means a bill free of riders or amendments that are often used to delay the decision-making process or pass legislation that would otherwise not get through on their own.
Congress is officially back in session this week. First on lawmakers’ to-do list? Pass a government spending bill for the new fiscal year. But that’s easier said than done — especially when politicians tack cruel, anti-women amendments onto the spending bill. These amendments are sometimes called “riders” and are blatant attacks on women’s health. Republican members of Congress are already planning to include at least 13 harmful riders on the spending bill.
Here’s the bad idea of the day, the week, and quite possibly the year. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL, wants Congress to cut off funding for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russian meddling in the 2016 election. DeSantis has introduced an amendment to a federal spending package that the House is expected to consider when it reconvenes next week; the proposal would terminate funding for the investigation six months after its approval and would order Mueller not to look into “matters occurring before June 2015,” when Trump launched his campaign.
Appropriations bills continue to be misused to undermine essential safeguards through poison pill “policy riders” – provisions that address extraneous and unpopular policy issues. Slipping unrelated and damaging issues into must-pass appropriations bills as a means to win approval is a dangerous strategy for the public.
The chamber’s appropriators will also be moving forward soon with their version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which funds agencies such as the DOL and NLRB. The Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill, which hasn’t been made public, Sept. 6. The House Rules Committee recently published that chamber’s proposed Labor-HHS spending bill. The move sets up a potential floor vote when lawmakers return from recess. The House bill, which has been approved by the Appropriations Committee, would cut 11 percent from DOL and NLRB funding. It also includes a number of labor-related policy riders, including one to undo the Browning-Ferris decision. Those riders may not make it to the Senate version of the spending bill, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, told Bloomberg BNA July 27.