1998 Scorecard Vote
With increasing frequency, Members of Congress unable to advance anti-environment proposals on their own merits have sought to attach these proposals as unrelated "riders," frequently at the last minute, to "must-pass" spending bills. Too often, this practice forces members who otherwise would oppose the provisions to vote for them as part of a much larger, widely supported bill.
For instance, the emergency spending bill that included funds for troops in Bosnia and for flood disaster relief also contained several provisions that environmentalists believe would not have had the support to pass on their own. One of these allows a multi-lane commuter highway to be built through Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico; another attempts to pressure the Forest Service into undermining the moratorium on the construction of new roads in national forests; and still another blocks efforts by the Department of Interior to ensure that taxpayers receive fair market value for oil extracted from public lands.
When the House debated H.R. 3534, the Mandates Information Act, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) offered an amendment to create a new point of order against bills that weaken or roll back health, safety, or environmental protections. This would guarantee Members of Congress the right to openly debate and independently vote on anti-environmental provisions and make it more difficult to pass major legislation with unrelated and undebated anti-environment riders.
On May 19, 1998, the House rejected the Waxman amendment, 190 - 221. YES is the pro-environment vote.