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Marty Hayden's blog

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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.

<Editor's Note: Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen has released a statement about the organization's continuing efforts to protect the gray wolf.>

The fate of gray wolves—and of the Endangered Species Act itself—may be voted on at any time in the climax of an historic struggle in Congress over budgeting and political philosophy.

 It’s a shame that it took the House days and many late night and early morning hours to come up with a budget plan like this. And during the wee hours of 4:35 a.m. the final roll call counted a vote of 235 to 189. And just like that our elected leaders eliminated safeguards for our air, water and wildlife.

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