Republicans have launched an unprecedented budget assault on clean air and public health protections — and Senate Democrats have two weeks to stop it.
The House Republicans’ Continuing Resolution spending bill slashes this year’s remaining EPA budget by almost 60%, and contains numerous amendments that hamstring the Clean Air Act, block the EPA from limiting greenhouse gas emissions for any reason, eliminate funding for climate science and climate pollution monitoring, and make it easier for coal plants to dump certain toxic wastes into lakes and rivers. And the list of radical amendments to defund the EPA.
The passage of a temporary spending bill on Wednesday keeps the government funded through March 18th and gives the Senate more time to take a stand against Republican attempts to hold EPA and Clean Air Act funding hostage with threats of forcing a shutdown.
There are just enough votes to do it. Barely. Strong EPA supporters — especially strong Clean Air Act supporters — are in a minority in the Senate. But if all of our environmental champions stand strong, and we pressure a few of the more tentative supporters to join them, we can protect the Clean Air Act’s ability to limit carbon pollution, and stop the draconian cuts to EPA funding.
The Continuing Resolution budget battle is just the first of these attacks on the Clean Air Act. There will be more. On Thursday, Rep. Fred Upton and Sen. Jim Inhofe introduced a bill to permanently block the Clean Air Act from regulating climate pollution. It is co-sponsored by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller has cosponsored legislation to delay the Clean Air Act’s climate limits for two years — that bill has six Democratic co-sponsors.
This battle may be won or lost in the Senate. And with few if any votes to spare, supportive Senators must make clear right now that they will oppose this attack on EPA funding, and filibuster all future attempts to gut the Clean Air Act.
Click here to sign the petition and let your senators know you don’t want the EPA to be defunded.