1994 Scorecard Vote
As in the Senate, some House lawmakers are taking a radical "throw out the baby with the bath water" approach to the age-old debate over how the nation should pay for protecting clean air and water -- they want to totally eliminate the critical health and safety protections demanded by Americans simply because there is a debate over financing them. Instead of developing creative and equitable solutions to the problem, the radicals are proposing to free polluters from controls unless federal taxpayers pay the full cost of complying with basic, common-sense protections.
Rep. Gary Condit (D-CA), for example, has introduced the Federal Mandate Relief Act (H.R. 140). (It is similar to Sen. Dirk Kempthorne's Community Regulatory Relief Act, S. 993 -- see Senate co-sponsorship 13.) Unlike the Senate bill, Rep. Condit's bill would not require the Congressional Budget Office to issue reports estimating the economic impact of existing or proposed mandates.
Like all legislation, H.R. 140 has been assigned to committee for study and deliberation. However, Rep. Condit has filed a "discharge petition" -- if 218 House lawmakers sign the petition, H.R. 140 would be released directly to the House floor for a vote. This would preclude the careful analysis and opportunity for comment that such a complex -- and far reaching -- proposal demands.
The League of Conservation voters considers cosponsoring H.R. 140 and signing the discharge petition for the bill, to be anti-environmental actions. So far, 227 lawmakers have cosponsored H.R. 140 and 171 lawmakers have signed the discharge petition.