Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Republicans' Debt-Ceiling-Deal Agenda: Defund the EPA - TIME

Republicans' Debt-Ceiling-Deal Agenda: Defund the EPA - TIME

It was lost in the endless drama of the debt-ceiling negotiations, but last week, the Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives launched an unprecedented attack on the U.S.'s environmental protections. GOP Representatives added rider after rider to the 2012 spending bill for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department, tacking on amendments that would essentially prevent those agencies — charged with protecting America's air, water and wildlife — from doing their jobs.

Last week's riderfest wasn't unusual for the 112th U.S. Congress. Representatives Henry Waxman and Edward Markey — two senior Democrats with solid green credentials — recently charted all the votes taken so far this year and calculated that the Republican-led House has voted to "stop," "block" or "undermine" efforts to protect the environment 110 times since January. As Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke wrote recently, this body of lawmakers stands an excellent chance of becoming "the most anti-environment House of Representatives" in U.S. history.

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