1982 Scorecard Vote
The vote is on the Scheuer (D-NY) amendment to the HUD & Independent Agencies Appropriations bill, to add $25 million for EPA research and development. At Reagan's request Congress had already cut EPA's research budget by 39% in fiscal 1982, and in this bill the House Appropriations Committee cut another 21% for fiscal 1983. Even Scheuer's amendment represented an $8 million decrease from 1982 levels. The funds added by the amendment would have gone for identifying cancer-causing pollutants; studying the effects of pollution on crops, oceans and natural resources; protecting the Chesapeake Bay; helping industry develop cost-effective ways to meet environmental regulations; and long term research on problems like acid rain, ground water pollution, and hazardous wastes.
The Reagan Administration has frequently delayed or weakened important health and environmental regulations, saying that it did not have adequate scientific information. At the same time, it has virtually assured that no such data will exist, by massively cutting EPA's funds for scientific research and development. Over the past two years the agency stopped collecting important pollution data, eroding the base not only for enforcement, but for rational decisions about the future as well. In Reagan's first year, employment of EPA scientists went down 5.6% and many more have left since in frustration because EPA's top political appointees won't consult them. Amendment defeated 131-263; September 15, 1982; YES is the pro-environmental vote. (The final bill passed by Congress cut EPA's funding by $2.2 million more.)