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Marty Hayden's blog

Republicans are kicking off 2017 with an outrageous attempt to unravel fundamental protections for Americans.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have launched into 2017 with an attempt to dismantle vital government safeguards that keep American communities safe, healthy and protected. In the past 10 days, House Republicans passed three bills that together could gridlock government agencies and eviscerate vital rules that safeguard our health, unique public lands, workplace protections, fair pay rules and civil rights.

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[Editor’s note: This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5538, the federal spending bill that funds the Department of the Interior, the EPA and the U.S. Forest Service. The bill initially contained over 30 anti-environmental rides. When it reached the floor, more than 35 new anti-environmental riders were added as amendments.

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Spring has come to Washington, D.C., and the congressional appropriations process—the process by which the government is funded—has emerged from hibernation after last year’s budget deal. The year began with calls from both the Senate and the House of Representatives for “regular order,” which long ago meant getting all of the budget bills that fund different parts of the government completed on time and signed into law individually.

The terms of last week's budget agreement between the Obama administration and congress were an achievement, but the fate of environmental "ideological riders" is yet to be determined.

Last week, the Obama administration and Congress announced a budget agreement with great fanfare. While the terms of the agreement were in many ways a great achievement for the White House, Congress still has to pass spending bills by December 11 to implement the agreement and avoid another government shutdown.   

The big issue that was intentionally left out of the recent budget negotiations was the fate of “ideological riders.” 

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the great big man in the red suit and last-minute Christmas shopping.

I’m talking about the House GOP majority trying to deliver on their year-long assault on environmental and public health protections in the last two bills that will be passed by Congress this year.

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