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LCV Statement on House Passage of Bills Gutting Public Protections

Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or

December 2, 2011  

WASHINGTON— This week the House of Representatives considered and passed two in a trio of harmful bills (H.R. 527, H.R. 3010, and H.R. 10) that jeopardize public protections, including for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. LCV is part of a broad coalition – the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards – that are opposing these radical bills that would cripple the federal regulatory process and gut protections for workers, public health, consumer products, and the environment.

LCV President Gene Karpinski released the following statement in response to the passage of H.R. 527 and H.R. 3010:

“Far too many members of the House of Representatives continue to seek rollbacks of our nation’s vital environmental protections and public health safeguards. We are deeply disappointed that the first two of the three radical bills to strip public protections were able to garner majority support. These bills will not improve the regulatory process or create jobs and only serve to further empower special interests over the public interest. We applaud the Obama administration for threatening to veto these harmful and sweeping bills.”

Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 3010) – This bill requires all agencies to adopt the least costly rule – a provision in the existing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that has rendered that law completely ineffective. The bill also overrides existing statutory standards in laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This bill requires an additional 60 analyses and greatly expands the power of the courts over rulemakings.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (H.R. 527) – purports to assist small business. In reality, it would make it virtually impossible for public protections to be put in place by requiring additional and wasteful analyses, covering rules that may have only an indirect impact on small businesses, and allowing big business to litigate rules because it disagrees with the indirect impact on small businesses.

REINS Act (H.R. 10) – This bill would undo more than 100 years of safeguards by allowing just one chamber of Congress to block law enforcement of existing statutory protections – from worker safety, to public health, to Wall Street reform. This bill would actually increase regulatory uncertainty by throwing every major regulatory issue back to Congress: a duplicative and unnecessary action given that nearly all regulations stem from Congress in the first place.

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