Remarks of Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, League of Conservation Voters
Washington, DC: On a press teleconference of the Clean Budget Coalition on the morning of Wednesday, April 5th, Tiernan Sittenfeld, SVP of Government Affairs at League of Conservation Voters made the following remarks on the proposed “poison pill” riders to spending bills that threaten public health, lands and wildlife:
“When Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress tried to take health care away from millions of people, they found it far more complicated, difficult and unpopular than they expected.
It appears they have learned nothing from that experience, and now they are starting down that same road again – pushing a spending plan that would take away vitally important and overwhelmingly popular environmental and public health protections.
Make no mistake: this rigged budget would mean more lead in our drinking water, more mercury in our air, and more destruction of our public lands and wildlife while rewarding Big Oil and other corporate polluters.
Trump’s ridiculous stunt donation to the National Parks this week only serves to remind us of the massive $1.5 billion cut he’s proposing to the Interior Department and the staggering 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, including the elimination of its Environmental Justice program.
As if Trump’s draconian proposed budget cuts aren’t bad enough, Republican leaders in Congress are proposing a slew of ideological policy riders that have no place in funding legislation. Buried in their appropriations bills are nearly 150 anti-environmental policy riders that would make our air and water dirtier and harm our public lands and wildlife. The long list of dangerous polluter giveaways include riders to:
- Stop action on climate change on the heels of the 3 hottest years on record and extreme weather events across the globe.
- Block badly needed clean water protections.
- Gut the Antiquities Act, the law used by presidents from both parties to first protect nearly half of our national parks, from the Grand Canyon to Acadia.
- And eliminate protections for our must vulnerable wildlife, from sage grouse to wolves to the lesser prairie chicken, as well as threaten national wildlife refuges, especially pristine Alaska refuges.
These poison-pill policy riders would reward special interests at the expense of public health and safety and the environment. They are bad policy, and the American people strongly oppose these sorts of sneak attacks on our air, water, lands, and wildlife.
With control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, it would be wildly irresponsible for the Republican leadership to cause a government shutdown simply to benefit Big Oil and other corporate polluters. Republican leaders should abandon this extreme approach and work in a bipartisan fashion to pass a clean budget that invests in thriving communities instead of attacking the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the lands we cherish.”