In response to the House’s passage of the second “minibus” appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020 (FY20), which includes funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:
“Healthy air is critical for the lives and health of millions of Americans. The American Lung Association is pleased to see that increases in several key healthy air programs passed the House, including bigger investments in EPA’s Clean Air Program; state, local and tribal air quality management grants; and enforcement efforts, as well as continued funding for EPA’s work to protect public health from radon gas, the second-leading cause of lung cancer. EPA’s work under the Clean Air Act has driven dramatic, lifesaving reductions in harmful air pollution, but more work remains to be done to achieve healthy air for all. Continued investment in EPA’s clean air programs is critical – particularly because climate change is now beginning to undo the nation’s progress toward healthy air. We urge the Senate to make similar investments in its FY20 appropriations.
“The American Lung Association also applauds the House for passing a bill that is free from tobacco industry riders that would weaken the Tobacco Control Act and its vital public health protections. Ensuring that FDA has the authority it needs to end the e-cigarette epidemic is critical to protecting this current generation of youth.
“However, the Lung Association was disappointed that the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act programs at EPA received funding cuts. We urge the Senate to restore or increase funding for these critical cleanup programs.
“We applaud the rejection of the many harmful policy riders that were offered, including riders that sought to block limits on carbon and methane pollution limits and defund a critical EPA program for identifying health hazards from chemicals.
“Finally, we thank Chairs Nita Lowey (NY) and Betty McCollum (MN) for their leadership and all members who voted to pass today’s increases. Now, the House, the Senate and the White House must raise the budget caps to ensure that these lifesaving investments become reality – and to avoid catastrophic funding cuts that would put Americans’ health and lives at risk.”
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.