2004 Scorecard Vote
In the past few years, the Bush Administration's political manipulation of scientific advice has posed serious consequences for health, safety, and environmental policies across a broad range of issues--from childhood lead poisoning and mercury emissions to climate change, reproductive health and nuclear weapons. Critics have charged the Administration with distorting or censoring scientific findings that contradict its policies, manipulating science to align results with predetermined political decisions, and undermining the independence of science advisory panels.
For example, J. Stephan Griles, deputy Interior Department secretary and a former lobbyist for the National Mining Association, instructed scientists and staff preparing an environmental impact statement on mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia to disregard overwhelming scientific evidence of the technique's destructive impacts. And when the CDC Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention was preparing to consider revisions in the federal standard for lead poisoning, Tommy Thompson, secretary of Health and Human Services, took the unusual step of rejecting his own scientists' nominees to the committee in favor of appointees with financial ties to the lead industry.
During consideration of H.R. 2432, the Paperwork and Regulatory Improvements Act, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Tierney (D-MA) offered an amendment to create a bipartisan, independent commission of scientists and governmental and public Administration officials that would study the politicization of science and recommend ways to protect scientific analysis from political manipulation and interference. On May 18, 2004, the House defeated House Amendment 531 by a 201-226 vote (House roll call vote 187). YES is the pro-environment vote.