WASHINGTON (December 13, 2011) -- Upon House approval of a payroll tax-cut extension today, Scott Slesinger, legislative director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued the following statement:
“Leaders of both parties say Americans need this tax cut. What we don’t need is more pollution, more health problems and more environmental problems. And that’s exactly what House Republican leaders just gave us, adding unrelated anti-environmental riders to the payroll tax bill. Why is the Republican leadership persisting in making it harder to pass bills everyone claims to want?”
One such rider would block vital clean-air standards for industrial boilers and cause as many as 8,100 premature deaths and 50,000 asthma attacks each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Another would allow the construction of a 2,000-mile Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through America’s heartland without adequate review of the environmental and safety risks.
“In their `Pledge to America’ last year, House Republicans promised to end the practice of attaching unpopular bills to must-pass legislation; but that’s exactly what they did today,” Slesinger said.
“The question now is, will the House GOP leaders keep reneging on their promises to the American people and continue bowing to tea party ideologues who would put corporate polluters—instead of scientists-- in charge of making decisions that affect our health and environment?’’
“No wonder President Obama today promised to veto bills laden with non-germane ideological issues, such as this one.”