Extreme Bills in Senate Threaten Public Health

WASHINGTON – The Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, BlueGreen Alliance, GreenLatinos, NextGen Climate and a broad coalition representing more than 70 groups are urging the Senate to reject a multi-pronged attack on safeguards that protect Americans from dirty air, contaminated water, tainted food, and unsafe products.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is expected to begin markup on a pair of extreme regulatory bills on Wednesday.  

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, or REINS, Act, would make it virtually impossible to put in place new safeguards by requiring any major rule to be approved by both houses of Congress within a limited time period.

The measure, which would effectively amend countless laws including virtually every environmental statute, is the broadest and most radical roll back of regulatory protections ever proposed.

“The public expects the government to be able to protect it from toxins in food, consumer products, air and water. The REINS Act would make that virtually impossible,” the groups wrote in a letter to senators.

The so-called Midnight Rules Relief Act would let Congress repeal, in a single package, dozens of safeguards put in place over the past year.  

“The bill would allow Congress to eviscerate crucial public health, environmental, safety, consumer and financial safeguards without due consideration,” the groups wrote.

Copies of the letters are available here and here.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.