1984 Scorecard Vote
In 1980 Congress enacted a $1.6 billion, five year Superfund to clean up abandoned toxic waste dumps. Since then only six dumps have been cleaned up. Out of 19,000 dump sites, the EPA has investigated about 2,000. More than half of these are a potential threat to groundwater, and thus to the drinking water used by millions of people. Although the tax on chemical manufacturers which finances most of Superfund does not run out until late 1985, by late 1984 most of the money had already been spent. To speed up the snails pace of toxic waste cleanup, it was important to expand the Superfund dramatically and immediately.
In 1984 the House voted a 5 year, $10 billion extension of Superfund. But the Senate Republican leadership, under pressure from the Reagan Administration, would not let the Superfund reauthorization legislation come to the Senate floor for a vote. Senator Bradley tried to attach a $6 billion Superfund extension to the last bill which passed the Senate in 1984, the so-called Continuing Resolution. Although Bradley's proposal was not perfect, it was strongly supported by environmental groups, and was the only way to enable a House-Senate Conference to draft any kind of Superfund extension that year.
The vote is on whether or not Bradley would be allowed to offer his amendment to the Continuing Resolution (technically, whether the amendment was "germane"). The Bradley Amendment was ruled non-germane, 38-59; October 2, 1984. YES is the pro-environmental vote. (Amendment to 1985 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, H.J. Res. 648). The Reagan Administration opposed the Bradley Amendment. This vote prevented Superfund extension in 1984, though some extension is expected in 1985.