Clean Budget News & Resources FY 2019

This resource bank contains FY 2019 budget cycle news articles, op-eds, editorials, blogs, letters to the editor, press releases, fact sheets, sign-on letters and other resources related to rescissions and riders. Please use the controls below to search, sort, filter and share.

Aug 15, 2018 - eenews.net - 0
4 Ways Spending Fights Will Affect Energy, Environment Issues

Congress, fearing a government shutdown, is pressing to pass as many spending bills as possible before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. Negotiations in the coming weeks will cover policy riders, programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and whether to approve emergency dollars for wildfires. The Senate returns today for a rare mid-August session, where its main goal will be advancing the two largest of the 12 annual appropriations measures in a single package. Together, the Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services bills would account for nearly 3 out of every 4 discretionary dollars to be spent in fiscal 2019. Senate GOP leaders are due to call up the defense spending bill, S. 3159, later today. The idea is to later amend it to attach the Labor-HHS bill, S. 3158. If a truce on avoiding controversial riders holds, the legislation could pass by next week and the Senate would then likely join the House in a summer break that will extend until just after Labor Day. Controversial policy riders are likely to disappear from any final spending bills in a bid to avoid a Senate blockade.

Aug 15, 2018 - thehill.com - 0
Senate Returns to Work on Toughest 'Minibus' Yet

The Senate on Thursday is set to begin debate on a bill combining the two largest appropriations measures, testing a bipartisan agreement by leaders of both parties to keep the process free of controversial policy riders. But it will be a tough test for Senate leadership to keep the appropriations process on track as senators consider controversial amendments related to abortion, education policy, and child detention centers. Leadership is hoping to tamp down any inflammatory amendments that could derail the process.

Aug 14, 2018 - nwaonline.com - 0
The Inconvenience of Plants, Animals

he turf wars over the Endangered Species Act are being played out between those who stand to gain in increasingly obscene ways vs. those who are trying to save the turf itself. Playing their hide-and-sneak games, congressional sponsors of destructive provisions to the Endangered Species Act are slipping the controversial legislation in as riders alongside unrelated must-pass topics, such as budget or defense bills. That insidious practice is done all the time, and should be illegal, but it's how they play in D.C.

Aug 13, 2018 - reviewjournal.com - 0
Mass Surgical Sterilization of Wild Horses Would Be Costly and Inhumane

Every year, the Interior bill becomes a vehicle for all manner of controversial riders that impact our nation’s wildlife. This year was certainly no exception. But what’s new this cycle is a tucked-away provision that would adversely affect some of our most iconic and treasured animals: wild horses, which embody a spirit of freedom for so many Americans. Under an amendment by Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (which oversees much of the land these animals inhabit) could launch a mass surgical sterilization program for stallions and mares. Wild horses are protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which established a policy of allowing these “living symbols … of the West” to thrive on public lands. This latest rider circumvents the law’s intent because mass permanent sterilizations would lead to nonreproducing herds and nonviable populations.

Aug 08, 2018 - theguardian.com - 0
These Six Species Are About to Be Sacrificed for the Oil and Gas Industry

Republicans in the western United States have been trying to whittle away the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since Donald Trump took office. Under new proposals, wildlife managers would limit protections for species designated as “threatened” (a level below endangered), consider the economic costs prior to defending a species, and de-emphasize long-term threats such as climate change. The proposals follow Republican bills and budget riders that would remove protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states, exempt the greater sage-grouse from an ESA listing for 10 years, and increase state involvement in conservation decisions.

Aug 08, 2018 - billingsgazette.com - 0
Keep Montana Nonprofits Serving Communities, Not Candidates

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill which includes a rider undermining a longstanding law called the Johnson Amendment. This provision in the tax law was originally enacted during the Eisenhower administration to keep charitable nonprofits out of partisan election politics. Simply put, the Johnson Amendment prohibits charities, including churches, from endorsing candidates for public office in any way, or face losing their tax-exempt status. This bright line is critical, as it has for more than 50 years effectively protected charitable organizations dedicated to the public good from being manipulated, pressured or otherwise drawn into election campaigns.

Aug 08, 2018 - theolympian.com - 0
Johnson Amendment Vital to Nonprofit Trust

This week, the House passed a version of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill that contains a policy rider that weakens enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment is a critical protection in the IRS tax code that keeps tax-exempt charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations nonpartisan and ensures that tax-deductible charitable resources will not be used for partisan political purposes. This keeps nonprofits trusted in their communities and focused on their missions. The rider specifically prevents the IRS from taking action against tax-exempt houses of worship that engage in flagrantly partisan activities. Worse, the anti-Johnson Amendment rider gives savvy political donors a way to receive a tax deduction if they direct their political giving toward tax-deductible entities no longer subject to the prohibition on partisan politicking. Weakening the Johnson Amendment for one tax-exempt group weakens it for all of us. Uneven enforcement of the Johnson Amendment will harm the public’s trust in the nonprofit sector because it allows one type of nonprofit group to use resources for partisan politics.

Aug 08, 2018 - thehill.com - 0
Senate GOP Battles for Leverage with House on Spending

The Senate is taking significant steps to lower the odds of either a government shutdown or massive omnibus spending package —all while giving itself more leverage in negotiations with the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he had an agreement with Senate Democrats to pass a big domestic spending bill covering appropriations for the departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services. Senate Republicans believe that passing their bills early will put pressure on House Republicans to agree to their versions of the spending bills. That would mean dropping so-called policy riders on such issues as cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood — a thorny issue in House GOP politics.

Aug 08, 2018 - daily-times.com - 0
What to Know About the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

A conference committee will work to resolve differences between the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate versions of a bill that funds several key federal agencies, most of which impact the Four Corners region. “I am particularly proud that we have moved this bill without the addition of contentious authorizing matters or poison pill riders — quite an accomplishment,” Udall said during a speech following the Senate vote. “Unfortunately, there are still scores of riders in the House bill. But by voting to send the Senate Interior bill to conference without adding controversial items, we are, as a body, telling the House that we will reject these poison pills once again.” The House Appropriations Committee Republicans’ summary of the bill stated that it would remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species listing and “prevent the unnecessary listing of the greater sage grouse.” The House Appropriations Committee Democrats described those riders as an “assault on our environment.”

Aug 08, 2018 - about.bgov.com - 0
Environmental Riders Hobbling Efforts to Finish First Minibus

Disputes over environment-related policy riders in a House Energy and Water spending bill may lead to that measure being dropped from the first package of spending bills that GOP leaders are determined to complete in September, lawmakers and aides said. House Republican pressure to include funding for a nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain and roll back or block Obama-era programs in their version of the Energy and Water legislation is meeting strong Democratic opposition and is slowing work on reaching a final agreement on the three-bill minibus (H.R. 5895) both chambers passed in July and sent to conference. Republican leaders may decide to drop the Energy and Water spending bill from the minibus if they can’t resolve the dispute over riders and it threatens overall progress on finalizing the package, according to GOP lawmakers and aides familiar with the process.

Aug 08, 2018 - washingtonpost.com - 0
Senate Blocks Effort to Kill D.C.’s Version of Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate

Score one for D.C. The Senate rejected Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to block the District from requiring that most residents have health insurance, thwarting — for now — Republican efforts to rein in the city’s government. Senators from both parties on Wednesday effectively killed a measure sponsored by Cruz (R-Tex.) that would have eliminated the District’s version of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act. However, the House and Senate spending bills both include two measures that affect D.C. autonomy. One would block city funding to subsidize abortions for low-income women, and the other would prevent the city from regulating the sale of recreational marijuana.

Aug 08, 2018 - ladailypost.com - 0
Udall: Defense Bill Free of Anti-Environment Provisions

The national defense policy bill, which authorizes pay and provisions for our troops, is no place to jam in unrelated measures that weaken protections for the environment and wildlife. I’m proud to have fought to keep the NDAA clean of these toxic riders, and I look forward to voting in favor of a bill that supports our national defense and the men and women in our armed services. In the future, we must continue to block poison pill, anti-environment provisions – whether in appropriations or other unrelated legislation -- and send the clear message that extreme, partisan efforts to gut endangered species safeguards and other bedrock environmental protections will not pass muster in Congress. Our environmental laws were passed on a bipartisan, consensus basis, and any successful efforts to update them will need to take a similar approach.

Aug 08, 2018 - beyondpesticides.org - 0
Protect the Endangered Species Act Against Sneak Attacks

In place of open debate, Congressional Republicans have once again used riders in three must-pass funding and authorization bills to remove protection from endangered species. It adds up to a huge attack on an immensely popular law. From wolves and grizzly bears to monarchs and burying beetles, everyone is at risk.

Aug 08, 2018 - redgreenandblue.org - 0
Congress Slips Water Policies Into Spending Bill That Would Devastate California

As Congressman Jeff Denham was touring Don Pedro and New Melones reservoirs with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on July 20, conservation, Tribal and environmental justice advocates held a press conference outside Denham’s Office In Modesto on July 20 to voice their opposition to three poison pill riders to an Interior Spending Bill that threaten to destroy salmon and other West Coast fisheries and eviscerate California water and environmental laws.

Aug 08, 2018 - bioworld.com - 0
Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Minibus With FDA Funding of $5.4B, Plus Riders

H.R. 6147 isn't just about appropriations. It also includes a few riders limiting what the FDA can do with the funding. For instance, one rider bars the agency from going totally electronic with prescribing information (PI) for drugs. The rider is in response to suggestions that the FDA replace the paper PI intended for prescribers with electronic PIs. That can't happen, according to the bill, unless Congress specifically enacts a law allowing or requiring it.

Aug 08, 2018 - phys.org - 0
What Are the Biggest Threats to the Endangered Species Act?

Another temporary way to weaken the ESA is through riders attached to appropriations bills. Some of the proposed provisions that are getting tacked onto spending bills would prevent the Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the sage grouse as an endangered species, and would lift ESA protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes region. These addendums are the most likely changes to get through Congress, says Gerrard, since the Republicans don't have a 60-vote majority in the Senate, but appropriations bills often pass with objectionable provisions because other parts of them are essential. And although appropriations riders expire after a year, they could have long-term consequences. "If projects get built that destroy habitat, that's permanent," Gerrard points out. "Or if a species goes extinct while its waiting to be listed, that's also permanent."

Aug 08, 2018 - nature.org - 0
Congress Forgoes Undercutting Foundational Environmental Laws: Defense Authorization Bill Free of Riders Curtailing E...

The following is a statement by Lynn Scarlett, Co-Chief of External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy, following the passage by both the House and the Senate of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that does not include several proposed damaging provisions that would have undercut the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Congressional negotiators successfully kept these proposals, which included prohibitions or delays on listing certain species and exemptions from completing environmental analysis for a broad suite of extraction projects on public lands, from the final version of the bill. The president is expected to sign this legislation.

Aug 08, 2018 - pfaw.org - 0
Corporations Should Disclose Their Political Spending

Poison pill policy riders are one of the political ploys that stand between everyday Americans and the programs on which they rely for their survival. These harmful provisions attack, weaken, and roll back protections for basic human needs and rights. They “ride” on government funding bills and other must-pass legislation because they couldn’t become law on their own merits. One issue area where riders have been used is campaign finance reform, including a rider to prevent the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to shareholders. People For the American Way and allies are urging Congress to reject the anti-disclosure language in favor of investor demands and a strong, transparent democracy.

Jul 25, 2018 - pfaw.org - 1
Trump and Congress Continue to Sacrifice Americans’ Basic Needs to Score Political Points with the Budget

As a part of the Clean Budget Coalition, we, the undersigned organizations write to ask you to oppose the House FY 2019 “minibus” packaging the Financial Services & General Government and Interior & Environment appropriations bills together. This package is laden with ideological policy riders that are inappropriate for any funding bill. Time and time again, members of Congress attempt to quietly slip in special interest wish list items that couldn’t pass as standalone legislation into must-pass funding packages as poison pill riders.

Jul 25, 2018 - krwg.org - 0
Udall: Defense Policy Bill Now Free of Anti-Environment Provisions

The national defense policy bill, which authorizes pay and provisions for our troops, is no place to jam in unrelated measures that weaken protections for the environment and wildlife. I’m proud to have fought to keep the NDAA clean of these toxic riders, and I look forward to voting in favor of a bill that supports our national defense and the men and women in our armed services. In the future, we must continue to block poison pill, anti-environment provisions – whether in appropriations or other unrelated legislation -- and send the clear message that extreme, partisan efforts to gut endangered species safeguards and other bedrock environmental protections will not pass muster in Congress. Our environmental laws were passed on a bipartisan, consensus basis, and any successful efforts to update them will need to take a similar approach.

Jul 25, 2018 - vermontbiz.com - 1
Leahy Comments on Ag, Interior, Financial and Transpo Bills

That we were able to reach consent to consider such a broad package of bills in the Senate is a direct result of the Shelby, Leahy, McConnell, Schumer commitment to move forward on a bipartisan basis, at spending levels agreed to in the bipartisan budget deal, while rejecting new poison pill riders or controversial authorizing legislation. We all have issues about which we care deeply. Achieving this goal of reporting strong, bipartisan bills took considerable restraint on both sides of the aisle, but restraint is what is required to get these bills through the Senate. Unfortunately, the House is proceeding on a different path. They have passed partisan bills filled with poison pills riders that cannot and will not pass the Senate. Funding the government is one of our most basic constitutional responsibilities, and Americans expect us to work together and across the aisle to reach agreement on these bills. The programs funded in these bills make a real difference in people’s lives and they should not be held hostage to unrelated partisan policy fights. I hope when we get to conference on these bills the House will reverse course and do their work in a bipartisan fashion for the benefit of all Americans.

Jul 25, 2018 - politico.com - 0
Senate Plots to Avert Government Shutdown with Massive Spending Bundle

The Senate’s two spending leaders, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), have been quietly eyeing the two-bill package for weeks. Shelby has pushed hard for the idea, meeting privately with McConnell and Schumer to get them on board. The first-term Appropriations chairman told reporters this week that he believes that if the Senate can approve that Defense and Labor-HHS package, the rest of the bills would follow.GOP leaders would need to rely almost entirely on Republican votes, too. House Democrats have already ruled out supporting the House's current version of the Labor-HHS-Education bill, which they say is riddled with "poison pill" riders and underfunded in key areas.

Jul 25, 2018 - motherjones.com - 0
Lawmakers Just Stripped Anti-Environment Riders from the Defense Bill

In a rare victory for environmentalists in the Trump era, the latest draft of a major defense spending bill has been stripped of provisions that targeted environmental protections, according to documents from the House-Senate Conference Committee released early this week. The policy riders would have been devastating for several imperiled species across the country, including the Western greater sage-grouse, the lesser prairie chicken, and the American burying beetle.

Jul 25, 2018 - yellowhammernews.com - 0
Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby: Let's Keep Up the Momentum on Funding Bills

Three appropriations bills have already passed the Senate, funding Energy and Water, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Shelby led his committee to a historic accomplishment this year by passing all its appropriations bills through committee by the July 4 recess, which hasn’t been achieved since 1988. “What changed was the mindset of appropriators on both sides of the aisle who embraced a willingness to sacrifice partisan riders and priorities outside the committee’s jurisdiction for the good of the process,” Shelby said in his speech.

Jul 25, 2018 - citypages.com - 0
Tom Emmer, Fellow Republicans Go for the Kill on Endangered Species

With elections closing in, Republicans in Congress have initiated an all-out assault on some old enemies – like the humpback whale. In the last few weeks, they’ve introduced a pile of legislation, all designed to take the teeth out of the Endangered Species Act. The attacks include a cohort of bills that would make it easier to remove animals from “endangered” or “threatened” status and make it harder for environmental groups to sue for their protection. A few riders tacked onto the National Defense Authorization Act – which sets the annual budget for the military -- would challenge protections for the sage grouse and gray wolves across the United States, making their habitats fair game for private owners and industries.

Access resources on FY 2018FY 2017 (Trump), FY 2017 (Obama) and FY 2016 budget cycle riders.