American Lung Association Opposes Spending Cuts, Riders in H.R. 5538
(July 14, 2016) - Washington, D.C.
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Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5538, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement in response:
"The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed by the passage of H.R. 5538 by the U.S. House of Representatives. This spending bill unacceptably cuts funding for programs that protect the health of Americans from air pollution, and contains numerous provisions to weaken and block critical clean air protections.
"The bill passed by the House today would slash funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reducing the agency's ability to implement and enforce the Clean Air Act and other health protections. The past year has illustrated to the American public the disastrous impacts of failing to invest in public health safeguards. EPA cannot carry out its lifesaving work without adequate funding.
"Furthermore, the bill contains a staggering number of harmful policy provisions – called 'riders' – that have no place in a spending bill. The riders in this bill would block carbon pollution limits on power plants; block methane limits on oil and gas facilities; delay more protective ozone pollution standards; and weaken pollution standards for vehicles – just to name a few. These riders would result in illnesses and premature deaths due to air pollution that could have been avoided.
"Fortunately, this particular bill will not become law. The American Lung Association thanks President Obama and his administration for their strong opposition to this bill.
"However, the House and Senate will need to continue to work in the coming months to pass spending bills that fund the federal government. To ensure that public health is adequately protected from harmful air pollution, Congress must fully fund EPA and other agencies' work to implement and enforce clean air safeguards.
"The American Lung Association also calls on all members of both the House and Senate to reject harmful policy riders in spending bills, including those that would threaten public health by blocking, weakening or delaying healthy air protections."
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.