At Least 104 New Poison Pill Riders Added to House Spending Bills in the Past Week. Lawmakers Must Remove All of Them.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – At least 104 new poison pill policy riders were added to appropriations bills drafted in the U.S. House over the past week, according to the Clean Budget Coalition, which is tracking them.

Prior to the July 4th recess, it took two months for House Republican appropriators to add more than 100 new poison pills to draft spending bills marked up in committee. In the past week alone, the previous total has DOUBLED to more than 217.

“The sheer volume of dangerous riders being included in these draft bills is an overreach and an emergency,” said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen and co-chair of the Clean Budget Coalition. “We cannot allow policy that harms regular people, threatens our rights, hurts the environment, and does any number of other terrible things to ride-along with the appropriations package. We must put out this five-alarm fire by rejecting the inclusion of poison pills.”

Coalition members are calling on lawmakers to remove all of them and oppose passage of any legislation that includes these unpopular and controversial special favors for big corporations and ideological extremists. Below is a list of all the new poison pills added or found in the past week:

 

Transportation, Housing, Urban Development, and Related Agencies

  • The Truck Speed Limit Rider would prohibit funds from being used by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for any rulemaking requiring eighteen-wheeler trucks used in interstate commerce to be equipped with speed limiting devices.
  • The Inward Facing Cameras Rider would prohibit funds from being used to require the use of inward facing cameras, a key safety measure, as a condition for the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program, authorized by the bipartisan infrastructure bill. This program is intended to expand the pool of motor carrier drivers and operators by recruiting, training, and certifying drivers under age 21.
  • The RAISE Rider would cap funding at 5% for infrastructure investments targeted to historically disadvantaged communities and areas of persistent poverty.
  • The Transportation Emissions Rider would block implementation of DOT’s proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule, which would require state DOTs and metropolitan planning organizations to establish carbon dioxide reduction targets and a method for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation.
  • The Equity Rider would prohibit compliance with DOT’s equity action plan in any grant program as directed by Executive Order 13985.
  • The Housing Discrimination Rider would bar the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from using funds for the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, published in January to fulfill the requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The rule requires HUD grantees to affirm that they will not discriminate against protected classes, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, and disability.
  • The CRT Rider would prohibit funding for education, training, or professional development that uses, promotes, or teaches Critical Race Theory.
  • The 2016 Flood Relief Rider would block HUD from enforcing income thresholds for families impacted by and recovering from major flooding events that occurred in 2016, harming low-income families and those who need assistance the most.
  • The California High-Speed Rail Rider would block funds from being used for a high-speed rail corridor development project in California. This project already has shovels in the ground and workers on site. No one project should be singled out in this way.
  • The Cuban Air Travel Rider would block funds for scheduled air transportation to, or passing through, property confiscated by the Cuban government, threatening to halt air travel for already scheduled, lawful flights.

 

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

  • The Social Cost of Carbon Rider would prohibit use of the social cost of carbon in any agency action. 
  • The California Waiver Rider would stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from approving waivers of the Clean Air Act for California.
  • The Good Neighbor Rule Rider would block the EPA’s Good Neighbor Plan for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which requires emissions reduction technologies to cut cross-state smog pollution from power plants and other industrial sources.
  • The Power Plant Wastewater Rule Rider would stop the EPA from finalizing a proposed rule to reduce wastewater pollution from steam electric power plants, particularly coal-fired power plants.
  • The Pesticide Labeling Rider would block the EPA from taking action on certain pesticide labeling.
  • The Waters of the U.S. Rider would prevent the Waters of the United States rule from taking effect.
  • The Idaho Wind Rider would prohibit pre-leasing, leasing, or the conveyance of leases for wind energy activity in Idaho until a study is completed on potential adverse impacts. This study would be entirely duplicative of existing ones and is simply meant to slow the deployment of wind energy in Idaho.
  • The Offshore Drilling Rider would create a new mandate that each five-year leasing program include at least two offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico every year. This requirement would remove authority from the agency to decide the amount of lease sales needed to “best meet our national energy needs,” a requirement of existing law. It furthers the interests of the oil and gas industry at the expense of local communities and the climate. 
  • The Florida Offshore Wind Rider would prohibit pre-leasing, leasing, or the conveyance of leases for offshore wind energy in Florida until a study is completed on potential adverse impacts. This study would be entirely duplicative of existing ones and is meant to slow deployment of offshore wind in Florida.
  • The Regional Lease Sales Rider would create a new requirement that at least two lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and two lease sales in Alaska are held every year to ensure that offshore oil and gas leasing occurs yearly, regardless of the status of the five-year program.
  • The Quarterly Lease Sales Rider would direct the Secretary of the Interior to resume quarterly onshore oil and gas leasing sales and specifies the numbers of sales in listed states.
  • The Boundary Waters Mining Rider would overturn the Biden administration’s recently finalized withdrawal of around 225,000 acres of National Forest System lands in northeastern Minnesota, opening the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to toxic mine pollution.
  • The Boundary Waters Hardrock Lease Rider would require the Secretary of the Interior to reinstate two canceled hardrock mineral leases in the headwaters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
  • The Ancillary Use Mining Rider would give mining claimants the right to permanently occupy federal public lands, construct massive toxic waste dumps, and build roads and pipelines across those lands – an unprecedented giveaway of America’s cherished public lands to mining corporations, reversing over one hundred years of legal precedent.
  • The Caldwell Canyon Mining Rider would require the Secretary of the Interior to issue a new Record of Decision for Caldwell Canyon Mine project, imposing arbitrary timelines to shortcut compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. The Caldwell Canyon phosphorus-phosphate mine would be built on irreplaceable habitat, leading to decades of additional water pollution.
  • The Expanded Sage Grouse Rider would expand the ban on protecting the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act – a legacy rider – to include the separate population of bi-state sage grouse.
  • The Bison Rider would prohibit funds to allow the introduction of bison into the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana.
  • The Endangered Species Consultation Rider would codify climate denialism into law by exempting the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management from updating their land management plans when new information – often new knowledge about the increasingly severe impacts of climate change – shows that endangered species are being harmed or killed on public lands.
  • The Lesser Prairie Chicken Rider would prohibit the Interior Department from implementing or enforcing a rule that protects the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act.
  • The Grizzly Bear Habitat Rider would block funds for the North Cascades Grizzly Bear Ecosystem Restoration Plan.
  • The Northern Long-Eared Bats Rider would prohibit the Interior Department from implementing or enforcing a final rule that protects the northern long-eared bat under the Endangered Species Act. 
  • The Gray Wolf Rider would direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue a rule prematurely removing endangered species protections for the Gray Wolf.
  • The Water Rights Rider would prohibit funds to require transfer or relinquishment of water rights as a permitting condition.
  • The Special Recreation Permits Rider would exempt special recreation permits from certain cost recovery fees.
  • The Coastal Barriers Rider would amend the Coastal Barriers Resources Act.
  • The Grand Staircase-Escalante Rider would prohibit funds for management of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah except in compliance with the Record of Decision and the February 2020 Resource Management Plan.
  • The Consent Decrees Rider would force the Secretary of the Interior to reissue Order No. 3368, which imposed burdensome and redundant reporting requirements on the department’s consent decrees and settlement agreements.
  • The DEIA Rider would block funds for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • The CRT Rider would prohibit funds for Critical Race Theory.
  • The Latino Museums Rider would block funding for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino and operation of the Molina Family Latino Gallery.
  • The Employee Counseling Rider would prohibit the Interior Department from providing counseling sessions for employees on certain topics.

 

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

  • The Fetal Tissue Rider would prohibit the National Institutes of Health from using fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion in medical research.
  • The Planned Parenthood Rider would prevent the health care provider from participating in health programs funded through the annual Labor-HHS bill. Planned Parenthood plays a critical role in providing quality health care to more than two million people each year. “Defunding” Planned Parenthood means blocking people from accessing critical preventive services like STI testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception, and sex education at Planned Parenthood health centers.
  • The Title X Rider would eliminate funding for and further undermine the Title X family planning program.
  • The Teen Pregnancy Rider would eliminate funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, while funding abstinence-only programs.
  • The Weldon Expansion Rider would prohibit Medicaid from covering abortion, expanding the harmful Weldon Amendment.
  • The Abortion Location Rider would prohibit funding for any “abortion hotline” or website run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that provides information on where to obtain an abortion.
  • The Post-Dobbs Rider would stop implementation of various Biden administration executive orders intended to increase access to abortion care for people impacted by state bans in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision. 
  • The Abortion Referral Rider would disallow HHS from requiring any grantee to refer for abortions or to act in contravention of any state law restricting referral for or performance of abortions.
  • The LGBTQ Discrimination Rider would prohibit implementation of the Biden administration’s executive order on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination, which prevents and combats discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and fully enforces Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • The Gender Affirming Care Rider would prohibit funds for surgical procedures or hormone therapies for the purposes of gender affirming care. 
  • The Student Sex Discrimination Rider would block the U.S. Department of Education from issuing a final rule to prevent sex discrimination and sex-based harassment at schools and a final rule to clarify how all students can participate in athletics.
  • The Religious Student Groups Rider would deny funding to public colleges and universities that have taken action against religious student groups that discriminate or engage in other unlawful conduct based on their religious beliefs.
  • The Student Debt Cancellation Rider would prohibit any broad-based student debt cancellation.
  • The Income-Driven Repayment Rider would stop the Biden administration from moving forward with its income-driven repayment plan for student loans, known as the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan. 
  • The Scam Colleges Rider would stop any relief for student loan borrowers who were scammed by their colleges, under the borrower defense rule.
  • The Joint Employer Rider would prevent the National Labor Relations Board from implementing a rule on joint employer status.
  • The CRT Rider would block funding related to Critical Race Theory.
  • The DEIA Rider would block policies or programs intended to promote diversity, equity, or inclusion stemming from Executive Orders 13985, 14035, and 14091.
  • The Marriage Equality Rider would block funding to take action against a person who opposes marriage equality.
  • The Pride Flag Rider would restrict which flags can be flown over federal facilities – and notably excludes pride flags.

 

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

  • The Multiple Firearms Reporting Rider would eliminate requirements for licensed firearm dealers to report to the U.S. Department of Justice on the sale of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same individual.
  • The Ghost Guns Rider would forbid implementation, enforcement, and legal defense of a rule to regulate ghost guns, a weapon of choice for criminals.
  • The Stabilizing Brace Definition Rider would forbid implementation, enforcement, and legal defense of a rule that clarifies which factors are considered by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) when evaluating firearms equipped with a purported stabilizing brace or other rearward attachment. Those factors determine whether the weapons are subject to regulation.
  • The Gun Violence EO Rider would block administration and enforcement of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14092 on reducing gun violence.
  • The Recent Gun Rules Rider would block implementation of any measure, regulation, or guidance issued or finalized by ATF after January 21, 2021, effectively blocking many of the Biden administration’s current and future efforts to reduce gun violence.
  • The Gun Buyback Rider would block funds for gun buyback and relinquishment.
  • The Red Flag Rider would block implementation of red flag laws or extreme risk protection orders that keep guns out of the hands of those prone to violence.
  • The Demand 2 Rider would block the Demand 2 program unless reporting thresholds are modified. That program is designed to increase oversight of federal firearm licensees with a high number of sales of guns used in crimes within three years of their purchase
  • The Gun Confiscation Rider would require notification and hearing opportunities for gun owners prior to the confiscation of a firearm – putting law enforcement officers at risk.
  • The New Gun Rules Rider would prohibit the study of, preparation for, or proposal of any future administrative or executive actions that would be interpreted as a restriction on the production, purchase, sale, or transfer of any firearm unless expressly authorized by Congress.
  • The ATF Civil Actions Rider would eliminate funds to advise, promote, or support any civil actions to which ATF is not a named party against any person purported to be subject to the regulation and oversight of the agency.
  • The Stabilizing Brace Tracking Rider would block the ATF’s ability to classify, tax, or register any firearm with an attached stabilizing brace, like the one used in the mass shooting at Christian Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee in March 2023.
  • The Asylum Adjudication Rider would prohibit funds for a rule that allows asylum officers to adjudicate asylum claims for individuals subject to expedited removal – an effort intended to help alleviate the immigration court backlog.
  • The Asylum Rules Rider would block funding for any new rules related to asylum law and process or the administrative closure of cases in immigration court.
  • The Immigration Case Dismissal Rider would prohibit using funds to close or dismiss immigration cases without adjudicating the merits of the case.
  • The Immigration Case Metrics Rider would require the Executive Office for Immigration Review to implement case performance metrics linked to the performance review for immigration judges.
  • The Census Rider would prohibit the use of funds to include undocumented immigrants in the Decennial Census apportionment determinations.
  • The Immigration Settlements Rider would block funds to pay any settlements related to civil actions brought by undocumented immigrants against the U.S.
  • The School Threats Rider would prohibit funds for the U.S. Attorney General’s school boards memo, blocking Justice Department efforts to address the rise in violent threats against school administrators, school board members, teachers, and staff.
  • The DEI Rider would block funds for various offices, programs and training related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The CRT Rider would prohibit funds for diversity, equity, inclusion, critical race theory, implicit bias, unconscious bias, or culturally relevant teachings for federal employees, including outside organizations that train federal employees.
  • The Sex Discrimination Rider would prohibit denial of funding to individuals who define sex to mean biological sex as determined by the type of gamete an individual produces.
  • The Affirmative Action Hiring Rider would prohibit funds to hire a person based on their race, national origin, sex, or religion.
  • The Gender Affirming Care Rider would prohibit funding for sex-altering surgeries.
  • The Same-Sex Marriage Rider would prohibit denial of funds to anyone with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage should be a union of one man and one woman.
  • The Misinformation Rider would bar funds from being used to classify or facilitate classification of any communications by a U.S. person as misinformation, disinformation, or malinformation, or to partner with any entity to censor lawful and constitutionally protected speech.
  • The Private Detention Facilities Rider would prohibit funds to enforce Executive Order 14006, which bars the use of private detention facilities.
  • The Policing Rider would prohibit funds to implement section 19 and section 20 of Executive Order 14074 to improve policing.
  • The Gerrymandering Lawsuits Rider would prohibit funds to sue a state or local government over its redistricting plans.
  • The Restitution Rider would prohibit funds for legal settlements that require the defendants to donate or contribute funds to an organization or individual.
  • The NIST Center Climate Rider would block funds for the NIST Center of Excellence in Climate Change, which researches climate and energy efficiency.
  • The Climate Fisheries Rider would block funds for climate change fisheries research, which would harm fisheries management, ecosystems, and fishermen.
  • The Climate Science Rider would block funds at the National Science Foundation for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the Clean Energy Technology Program.
  • The Climate Crisis Rider would block funds to enforce Executive Order 14008, which puts the climate crisis at the center of U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy and calls for a whole-of-government response.
  • The Vessel Strike Reduction Rule Rider would prevent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from finalizing its proposed North Atlantic right whale vessel strike reduction rule until a “near real-time monitoring and mitigation program” to track threatened or endangered whales has been deployed. This would slow down an urgently needed rule to protect the survival of this species. 
  • The Forest Protection Rider would block funds for implementation of Executive Order 14072, which protects forests in federal regulatory decision making.
  • The ESG Rider would prohibit funding for the promotion of and any contributions to Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investments.
  • The Environmental Justice Rider would block funding for a proposed Office of Environmental Justice.
  • The Reproductive Rights Task Force Rider would block funding for the Justice Department’s Reproductive Rights Task Force.
  • The Abortion Lawsuits Rider would block funding for suing a state or local government over abortion laws.
  • The Free Federal Research Rider would block funding to implement or enforce the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy’s memo on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research.
  • The Federal Employee Union Rider would prohibit funds from being used for federal employee union activities.
  • The Lechter Prison NEPA Exemption Rider would force the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to reissue a final environmental impact statement from 2017 and the record of decision from 2018 – abruptly ending the National Environmental Policy Act process without the opportunity for public comment. The provision also would bar all agency actions in building the prison from being subject to judicial review.

 

Please reach out to speak with an expert on the Clean Budget Coalition’s work or specific riders listed here.