1984 Scorecard Vote
Contrary to popular belief, the Superfund does not give any money to the victims of toxic waste. Those who suffer severe medical or property damage must usually seek compensation through the courts, which is extremely difficult, especially in the case of abandoned toxic waste dumps covered by the Superfund. Even if the victim can prove who was to blame, there are still long delays and tremendous legal costs.
The vote is on the Levitas amendment to the Superfund extension bill. It would allow the Superfund to pay toxic waste victims for out of pocket medical expenses, alternative drinking water supplies, relocation expenses, lost wages, and burials. Individuals would have to demonstrate that exposure to a toxic dump had probably contributed to their illness or other loss. Suits against the companies causing the damage would still be encouraged, and any future compensation awarded by the courts could be tapped to reimburse the Superfund.
Levitas amendment rejected 159-200; August 10, 1984. YES is the pro-environmental vote. (Levitas amendment to the Superfund Extension, H.R. 5640.) The Reagan Administration opposed the amendment. The bill died in the Senate.