1994 Scorecard Vote
In 1984, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that existing regulations failed to protect the nation's two million farm-workers from exposure to dangerous pesticides. Each year researchers found more than 300,000 farm-workers became ill -- and some died -- due to pesticide exposure.
To address this problem, EPA developed new health and safety standards that would require employers to provide their farm-workers with, among other things, basic pesticide safety training and emergency assistance. After a decade of delays, the new rules were scheduled to go into effect on April 21, 1994. Finally, farm-workers -- many of whom are people of color living in poverty -- would be protected by at least minimum health and safety standards.
Despite ample warning that the new rules were coming -- and extensive opportunities to comment on their content -- agribusiness interests claimed that they would not be ready to comply and sought further delay. On March 9, 1994, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) went to the Senate floor to offer an amendment to delay implementation of the farmworker protection standards for 18 months. The amendment was offered to an unrelated bill.
In response, Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) offered a motion to table (kill) the Cochran amendment. The Senate rejected Hollings` motion by a vote of 35 - 65. Following this vote the Senate passed a compromise that delayed most of the new regulations for nine months, rather than 18.
YES on the Hollings motion to table the Cochran amendment is the pro-environment vote.