Broad Coalition of 154 Groups Call on White House, Senate Leaders to Leave Policy Riders Out of a Funding Bill
(PRESS RELEASE) As negotiations on a bill to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year continue this week, a broad coalition of 154 organizations are calling on the White House and Senate Leadership to reject all policy riders in such legislation. The groups co-authored a letter late last week urging the negotiators to “adopt a strict policy of rejecting all such provisions in subsequent 2011 spending bills, rather than negotiating one harmful rider against another.”
The groups represent a range of interests, and include environmental organizations such as Environment America, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists and League of Conservation Voters, women’s rights groups such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, League of Women Voters, National Organization for Women, and Families USA, labor organizations such as Blue Green Alliance, SEIU, UAW and AFL-CIO, public interest organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, OMB Watch and Public Citizen, as well as the NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, and many others.
The letter’s signers today echoed their call for a clean funding bill:
“This letter demonstrates the broad and diverse opposition to hijacking this funding bill with policy riders that threaten many aspects of Americans’ health and well-being,” said Anna Aurilio, Director of Environment America’s Washington, D.C. office.
“A spending bill is not the proper vehicle for riders that amount to an ideological attack on the protections that keep America safe, healthy, and prosperous,” said Gary D. Bass, Executive Director of OMB Watch. “Congress should have an open debate on each policy and allow the public to speak out about the consequences of these decisions.”
“It is shameful that Members of Congress are once again trying to use critical aspects of women’s health as bargaining chips in a political negotiation over the budget. Congressional leaders and the White House should stand firm for a bill without policy riders,” and Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Identical letters were sent to the President, Vice President, and Senate Leadership. The text of the letter and a full list of signers can be found here: www.usclimatenetwork.org/resource-database/coalition-letter-to-the-white-house-on-h.r.-1