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. Access resources on FY 2017 (Trump), FY 2017 (Obama) and FY 2016 budget cycle riders.
Both the FY2018 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives in September 2017 and the Interior bill proposed by the Senate in November 2017 contained numerous policy riders that would put health and lives at risk from air pollution, and cut funding for EPA.
As Congress struggles to agree on a long-overdue budget and spending bills, the devil is in the details as Republicans are trying to sneak through provisions that would harm the environment, public health and democracy.
In a letter sent today to all 535 congressional offices, 149 groups in the Clean Budget Coalition called on Congress to pass a clean omnibus, free from poison pill policy riders. Poison pill riders threaten workers, consumers and families as well as our communities, environment and economy, and they should be removed from any final or short-term funding agreement, the coalition maintains.
We, the undersigned organizations as a part of the Clean Budget Coalition, write to ask you to oppose any FY 2018 omnibus or other spending measure which includes ideological poison pill policy riders. The majority in Congress are quietly trying to slip in special interest wish list items via poison pill riders into the year-end funding packages.
This is a list of anti-environment riders attached to appropriations bills and other must-pass legislation.
Forty senators, led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), are urging appropriators negotiating an end-of-year package to keep the spending bill free of dangerous environmental policy riders too often found in House appropriations. The letter, also supported by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Appropriations Committee Vice Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), brings together more senators than have signed onto a letter of this type in recent history and more than the required number of votes needed to block any of these riders from moving forward.
It's Congress' job to pass bills to fund the federal government. But some members of Congress are taking advantage of the process. They want to attach dangerous policy provisions—called riders—to these important bills that would benefit polluters and the tobacco industry. We need you to call on your 3 members of Congress to oppose these backroom deals.
In the world of Congress, a rider isn't a person who takes a train or bicycle. It's actually a term for a type of amendment to legislation. And while the name sounds harmless, riders are actually a huge problem.
Riders are a huge problem — especially when it comes to protecting our health. You can think of riders as parasites that special interests try to attach to important bills. Parasites get a free ride at the expense of the host. Parasitic riders are often attached to spending bills behind closed doors after corporate lobbyists have met with members of Congress and their staffs—hence the term "back-room deals." And they come at the expense of regular Americans. In this case, the parasites are being pushed by the tobacco industry to make it easier for them to market and sell their products to kids.
As you finalize appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2018, we urge you to protect kids and reduce tobacco-caused disease by rejecting the House tobacco policy riders which would weaken FDA’s final rule on e-cigarettes and cigars.
Public Citizen applauded 40 U.S. Senators who today called for a clean budget with no poison pill riders in a letter (PDF) sent to the chamber’s leadership. In the letter, the senators sound the alarm about a particularly odious rider that would stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to shareholders.
Attorney General Janet Mills joined a coalition of 13 states calling on the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to reject “deep and damaging” cuts in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and anti-environmental riders in federal budget bills. In a letter to Congressional leadership, the coalition charges that the EPA cuts and riders currently proposed by both houses “will lead to more pollution of our air, water, and communities, and an accompanying increase in damage to public health.” The coalition is urging Congress to pass a final budget that fully funds EPA and omits any anti-environmental riders.
Disaster victims California, Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are waiting for help from Congress, but instead of providing it, Republican lawmakers are playing partisan political games with the relief package. The relief package passed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives contains a number of poison pill policy riders that must be removed from the package.
Americans deserve a budget for 2018 that protects our economy and our children’s health, creates jobs and lifts wages, and ensures clean air and water — not one packed full of special favors for big corporations that are unrelated to government funding. But instead, conservative lawmakers are attempting to use the budget to pay back the big corporations and ideological extremists who funded their campaigns and put them in office.
The Wilderness Society strongly supports a Senate letter with 40 signatures that urges the Senate Appropriations Committee and Congress generally to exclude from Fiscal Year 2018 funding legislation any rider that would undermine bedrock conservation law. With Senate Minority Leader Schumer and Appropriations Ranking Member Leahy also supportive, these 42 Senators show that damaging environmental policy riders don’t have the critical sixty-vote margin of support.
The U.S. House and Senate have given themselves another reprieve, this time for two weeks, to come together on a spending package for fiscal year 2018. Much of their challenge, appropriately, will be reaching consensus on the size of the new budget and how much money will be allocated for competing priorities, such as defense versus domestic programs. But negotiators also will be challenged by lawmakers’ tendency to use big appropriations bills as a vehicle for ideological partisan policy proposals that have little or nothing to do with budgeting.
Congress is in the midst of frenetic negotiations to reach a budget deal before leaving later this month for the holidays. Democratic leaders have signaled their caucus would be united in opposing a deal that does not offer parity for defense and nondefense spending or if extraneous policy riders are tacked on by the GOP. Republicans hold a more comfortable 23-seat margin in the House, but the three dozen members of the hard-right Freedom Caucus have resisted domestic spending increases. If they hold firm, leaders will need to rely on House Democrats, whose price would likely be equal defense and nondefense spending increases for fiscal 2018 and a robust hurricane/wildfire package.
Now, Congress is working on the omnibus spending bill for 2018, which may have environmental appropriations close to those from last year. Then again, the bill could be changed to pay for expected cuts in the so-called tax reform bill, which has everyone on Capitol Hill struggling to reconcile differences in the House and Senate bills. Congress must also pass another temporary “continuing resolution” to keep the government operating through the new year. Whether environmental budgets will take big hits in the eventual 2018 omnibus bill is anybody’s guess. At the same time, environmentally damaging riders cling to the budget, as well as to the administration’s new tax plan, with provisions that would exempt the federal livestock grazing program from environmental review, would prevent the BLM from fully collecting oil royalties, and thwart efforts to control methane pollution from federal lands oil drilling.
Lifting the caps equitably must be a top priority for Congress, so that it can proceed as quickly as possible to enact an omnibus spending bill for the rest of FY 2018. An adequately funded omnibus will allow investments that will provide for economic growth and opportunity, and should not be undermined by divisive poison pill riders.
Last week Senate Republicans passed a tax bill that hands massive tax breaks to corporations and the rich at the expense of low-income and middle-class Americans. Waiting in the wings on Capitol Hill are proposed GOP spending bills that would help the wealthy winners in this year’s epic tax rewrite lock in their power. Republicans have hidden “policy riders” in the fine print of those bills that will further open the floodgates to big money in politics — while making darn sure we can’t find out where it’s coming from. That’s a surefire way to guarantee that the special interests and billionaires bankrolling federal elections get to increase their influence in Washington without any annoying scrutiny from voters.
Waiting in the wings on Capitol Hill are proposed GOP spending bills that would help the wealthy winners in this year’s epic tax rewrite lock in their power. Republicans have hidden “policy riders” in the fine print of those bills that will further open the floodgates to big money in politics — while making darn sure we can’t find out where it’s coming from. That’s a surefire way to guarantee that the special interests and billionaires bankrolling federal elections get to increase their influence in Washington without any annoying scrutiny from voters.
Public Citizen today joined a diverse coalition of more than 30 organizations in sending a letter (PDF) to U.S. Senate and U.S. House leadership calling on Congress to pass a clean budget with no poison pill riders, particularly one that would stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring publicly traded corporations to disclose their political spending. The organizations that signed the letter represent a broad range of interests, including labor unions, good government organizations, environmental groups, faith organizations, investors, and state and local groups.
Now, Congress is working on the omnibus spending bill for 2018, which may have environmental appropriations close to those from last year. Then again, the bill could be changed to pay for expected cuts in the so-called tax reform bill, which has everyone on Capitol Hill struggling to reconcile differences in the House and Senate bills. Congress must also pass another temporary “continuing resolution” to keep the government operating through the new year. Whether environmental budgets will take big hits in the eventual 2018 omnibus bill is anybody’s guess. At the same time, environmentally damaging riders cling to the budget as well as to the administration’s new tax plan, with provisions that would exempt the federal livestock-grazing program from environmental review, would prevent the BLM from fully collecting oil royalties, and thwart efforts to control methane pollution from federal lands oil drilling.
The Congress — and here I really mean just a handful of members who are apparent zealots on the issue of keeping dark money dark like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — has used the budgetary process to sneak in pernicious policy riders. Because the budgetary process has become so mucked up and irrational, lurching from one continuing resolution to the next with the possibility of the government shutting down or the U.S. careening through its debt limit, it's hard for the public to keep track of what’s frequently a rushed and closed door dead of night process. There is an alternative: (1) pass a clean budget without the pernicious policy riders; (2) pass a tax reform without trashing the Johnson Amendment; and (3) pass the Honest Ads Act so that voters get more information about who is trying to influence their votes.
The Campaign Legal Center sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy, strongly opposing measures in the appropriations bill that threaten to undermine important protections for the democratic process.