1981 Scorecard Vote
Garn (R-UT) motion to table (kill) the Hart (D-CO) amendment to the fiscal year 1982 Continuing Appropriations. The Hart amendment would have restored funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to the levels contained in the Conference Report.
Congress has already loaded the EPA with tremendous responsibilities for controlling air pollution, water pollution, solid waste disposal, radiation, pesticides, noise, and toxic chemicals. To this Congress recently added the crushing new burden of administering the "superfund" for cleaning up toxic waste dumps. EPA is far behind in meeting a number of statutory deadlines, and the new hazardous waste programs could double its workload. The National Wildlife Federation released a study demonstrating the need to nearly double EPA's budget to $2.16 billion.
Instead, the Reagan Administration has begun to systematically destroy EPA. Reagan's 1982 budget request was 21% less than the 1981 budget, and a 31% drop in purchasing power if inflation is taken into account. The staff is leaving at an astounding rate of 32% a year. The former head of EPA under President Ford, Russell Train, said, "The result at EPA has been demoralization and institutional paralysis...from which it is unlikely to recover for at least ten years, if ever." The Senate Continuing Resolution accepted Reagan's massive cuts, without any changes in EPA's massive responsibilities. The Hart amendment would have increased the EPA budget by a modest 11% ($130 million) and the CEQ budget by 12% ($125,000). Garn's move to kill it passed 59-37; November 20, 1981. NO is the pro-environment vote.