192 Groups Call on U.S. House to Reject Appropriations Riders

Congress 1

Sept. 5, 2017 | Download PDF

Dear Members of Congress,

We, the undersigned organizations, write to ask you to oppose any House FY 2018 appropriations bills or packages which include harmful policy riders.

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.

Harmful policy riders are measures that the public opposes and would be unpopular to move as standalone legislation. The American people support policies to restrain Wall Street abuses and ensure safe and healthy food and products, to protect our air, land, water and wildlife, to ensure safe and fair workplaces, to prevent consumer rip-offs and corporate wrongdoing, to protect our campaign finance and election systems, to provide access to justice and fair housing, to protect civil rights, and to ensure continued access to vital health care services including reproductive health care.

Contentious poison pill riders are intended to advance the priorities of special interest donors, supporters and should not be included in funding bills. Highlighting just a small portion of the proposed egregious riders, the proposed house bills and associated proposed amendments to the appropriations package include:

  • Funding for a controversial wall on the Mexican border, money that should instead go to disaster efforts and to help rebuild damaged communities.
  • A provision to block ongoing and potentially life-saving research involving fetal tissue.
  • A policy blocking patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
  • A provision to prohibit the use of any funds in the bill from being used to “implement, administer, enforce, or further” provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Denial of funding for the 2020 decennial census unless questions are included regarding a respondent’s U.S. citizenship and immigration status.
  • An amendment that stops the Mueller investigation after 180 days and limits the scope of the investigation.
  • A provision that seeks to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which would hinder the Bureau’s mission to protect consumers’ financial interests, and a provision to prevent the CFPB from banning forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts that currently allow corporations to rip off consumers with impunity.
  • An amendment that splits the 9th Circuit Court, which is one of the more progressive circuits in the country.
  • A provision that would prevent the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from finalizing new rules to require public corporations to disclose their political spending to shareholders.
  • A provision that would allow for the withdrawal of the Clean Water Rule, which would protect the drinking water of 117 million people, without following the proper procedures required under the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946.
  • A policy that delays the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest health standards for ground-level ozone smog pollution for ten years, preventing Americans from even having the right to know if the air they breathe is unhealthy for ten years and severely delaying cleanup steps.
  • Amendments that would strip protections for animals currently under the Endangered Species Act, undermining the scientific basis of those decisions.
  • Elimination of funding for private enforcement of federal fair housing laws while private enforcement is the primary way that federal fair housing laws are enforced.
  • A provision that would prevent the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which helps states and communities better understand how to fulfill its federal fair housing obligations required by law. (At the time in which this letter was sent this amendment was withdrawn.)
  • An amendment that would halt the enforcement of the Department of Labor’s final fiduciary rule that would ensure financial advisors work in their clients’ best interests instead of lining their pockets.
  • A policy that would halt the implementation of the Occupations Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule on silica, which causes renal disease, silicosis, lung cancer, and other terrible illnesses in workers exposed to the toxic dust.
  • A provision that would prohibit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from implementing a rule to collect pay data that could show pay discrimination in a variety of sectors and employers.
  • A rider to stop the Department of Education from enforcing the Gainful Employment rule, which would save students and tax payers millions of dollars in student loans.
  • A provision that would undermine protections for the collective bargaining rights of workers at tribal-owned enterprises.
  • Various provisions that would prevent the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from enforcing basic labor law protections.
  • An amendment that would prohibit the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using funds to finalize their proposed rule from November 2016 to limit carbon monoxide emissions from portable generators.
  • A policy rider to block the Department of Justice from entering into agreements with corporate wrongdoers, such as environmental polluters, that require the corporate wrongdoer to make payments to third-party actors as part of a settlement agreement with the federal government.

We also urge Members of Congress to support increasing the spending caps to fund pivotal programs for the American people via the budget while opposing flawed funding proposals that include poison pill policy riders like those listed above and the many others proposed for inclusion.



National Groups

9to5, National Association of Working Women

Action on Smoking and Health



Alaska Wilderness League

Alliance for Retired Americans

American Association for Justice

American Bird Conservancy

Americans for Financial Reform

Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Black Women’s Health Imperative

Carmelite NGO

Catholics for Choice

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Justice & Democracy

Center for Progressive Reform

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Clean Water Action

Coalition on Human Needs

Common Cause

Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Consumer Action

Corporate Accountability International

Daily Kos

Defenders of Wildlife

Democracy 21



Economic Policy Institute Policy Center

Endangered Species Coalition

Environment America

Family Equality Council

Free Press Action Fund

Friends of the Earth

Government Accountability Project


Grounded Solutions Network

Hip Hop Caucus

Hispanic Federation

Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings

ICAST (International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology)

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Interfaith Power & Light

Jewish Women International

Just Foreign Policy

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

League of Conservation Voters

Main Street Alliance


NARAL Pro-Choice America

National Abortion Federation

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

National Association for College Admission Counseling

National Association of Consumer Advocates

National Association of Social Workers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition for LGBT Health

National Coalition for the Homeless

National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

National Council of Jewish Women

National Education Association

National Employment Law Project

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Immigration Law Center

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Low Income Housing Coalition

National Partnership for Women & Families

National WIC Association

National Women’s Health Network

National Women’s Law Center

Natural Resources Defense Council

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New America’s Open Technology Institute

New Progressive Alliance

Newtown Action Alliance


People For the American Way

Physicians for Social Responsibility


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Population Connection Action Fund

Population Institute

Power Shift Network

Progressive Congress Action Fund

Public Citizen

Public Knowledge

Rachel Carson Council

Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need

Safe Climate Campaign

Service Employees International Union

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)

Sierra Club

SiX Action

Stand Up America

States United to Prevent Gun Violence

The Arc of the United States

The Bright Lines Project

The Center for Reproductive Rights

The Impact Fund

The Wilderness Society


UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza)

Union of Concerned Scientists

United Church of Christ, OC Inc.

United Steelworkers

Voces Verdes

Voices for Progress

Woodstock Institute

Workplace Fairness

Young Invincibles


State Groups

AIDS Alabama, Inc.

Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey

Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness

Arizona Housing Alliance


CASA of Oregon

Church Women United in New York State



Earth Action, Inc.

Empower Missouri

Equality California

Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection

Florida PIRG

Georgia PIRG

Habitat for Humanity Virginia

Housing Action Illinois

Housing Community Development Network of NJ

HousingWorks RI

Illinois PIRG

Indiana PIRG


Kentucky Equal Justice Center

Maryland PIRG

Massachusetts Consumers Council


Monarch Housing Associates

Montana Environmental Information Center




New Jersey Association on Correction

New Jim Crow Movement – California & Florida




Ohio CDC Association




PeterCares House

PIRG in Michigan (PIRGIM)

Public Justice Center



The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado

Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition

Virginia Housing Alliance

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance




Local Groups

AFGE Council 238

Alfred E Smirh Resident Association, New York, NY

Antioch Urban Ministries, Inc. DBA Matthew’s Place, Atlanta, GA

Central New York Citizens in Action, Inc., Utica, NY

Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority, Harrison County, WV

Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO), Hayward, Alameda County, CA

Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness, Kansas City, MO

Harrington Investments, Inc., Napa, CA

Homeless Solutions, Inc., Morris County, NJ

Homestead Affordable Housing, Inc., Holton, KS

Housing Authority of the City of Columbia, MO

Lake County Crisis Center, Lake County, OR

Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, PA

Plymouth Housing Group, Seattle, WA

ROSE Community Development, Portland, OR

Seattle Human Services Coalition, Seattle, WA

Sitka Community Land Trust, Sitka, AK

South Florida Community Development Coalition, Miami-Dade, FL

South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice

Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Springfield Housing Authority, Springfield, IL

The Architects Collective, Los Angeles, CA

Toledo Area Jobs with Justice & Interfaith Worker Justice Coalition, Toledo, OH

YWCA-GCR, Inc., New York, NY

Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago, IL