Wide Range of Citizen Groups Band Together To Oppose Harmful and Undemocratic Policy Riders In Budget Bill

Groups representing millions of Americans tell White House and Senate to shut down any talk of policy riders in their work to fund the government

Contacts

Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 237

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A diverse coalition of 139 citizen groups representing a broad range of public interests sent a letter (below) to the White House and Senate leadership this evening, urging them to shut down any consideration of policy riders in their negotiations over the federal budget bill.

The following is a statement by Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen:

“The diverse and impressive range of citizen groups on this letter—from labor unions to public health to environmental to consumer to women’s and civil rights groups and beyond—demonstrates what awful business Congress has gotten itself into in even considering these harmful and undemocratic policy riders. These riders are being pushed by ideological interests in the House, including the Tea Party freshmen. No policy rider is more acceptable than another. Not a single one of these ideological riders has a place in a federal spending bill, and leaders in Congress and the White House must take any discussion of them off the table immediately. Earthjustice is proud to stand in solidarity with other groups representing the public interest in opposing all policy riders.”

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT:

March 31, 2011

Dear President Obama and Vice President Biden:

The undersigned organizations, on behalf of our millions of members and supporters, write today to express our strong opposition to inclusion of any policy riders in legislation that will fund government operations for Fiscal Year 2011.

There have not been any hearings related to these extraordinarily far-reaching proposals. This back-door means of legislating does not allow for adequate debate about the merits of such sweeping policy changes, which deserve full deliberation by both chambers in the course of the normal legislative process.

The House of Representatives’ Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), which was voted on one month ago, included vast cuts and erected obstructions to critical public health, worker safety, consumer, civil rights, and environmental programs. We urge you to adopt a strict policy of rejecting all such provisions in subsequent 2011 spending bills, rather than negotiating one harmful rider against another.

We also have deep concerns about the level of the funding cuts, which we view as irresponsible and harmful.  However, these damaging policy riders have no place in this budget legislation.

Sincerely,

350.org
Advocates for Youth
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS Project Los Angeles
AIDS United
Air Alliance Houston
Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Alaska Wilderness League
Alliance to End Hunger
American Association of University Professors
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Bottom Conservancy
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Humane Association
American Medical Women’s Association
American Public Health Association
American Rivers
Americans for UNFPA
The Arc of the United States
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
ATTIC, Inc.
BCMW Community Services
Blue Green Alliance
Bread for the World
Break the Cycle
Cascade AIDS Project
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Inc.
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Family Policy and Practice
Center for Food Safety
Center for Health and Gender Equity
Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Women Policy Studies
Children’s Dental Health Project
Citizens Against Coal Ash
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
Clean Water Action
Coalition on Human Needs
Coalition for Justice
ColorOfChange.org
Common Cause
Community Advocates for Safe Emissions, Inc. (CASE)
Community Food Security Coalition
Communications Workers of America
Concerned Citizens of Giles County LLC
Concerned Residents of Portland, NY + People Like Us (Crop Plus)
Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA)
Courage Campaign
DC Vote
Defenders of Wildlife
Democracy 21
Disciples Justice Action Network
Downwinders at Risk
Earthjustice
Earthworks
Economic Policy Institute
Environment America
Environmental Integrity Project
EQUAL Health Network
Every Child Matters
Falls Church Housing Corporation
Families USA
First State Community Action Agency
Fresh Energy
Friends of the Earth
Georgians for Smart Energy Coalition
Global Community Monitor
Greenpeace
Harm Reduction Coalition
Health Care Without Harm
HealthHIV
Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health Somerville, MA
International Center for Technology Assessment
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
Ipas
Kentucky Environmental Foundation
League of Conservation Voters
League of Women Voters
Legal Momentum
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Montanans Against Toxic Burning
National Abortion Federation
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council for Occupational Safety and Health
National Employment Law Project
National Health Law Program
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Minority AIDS Council
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
National Network of Abortion Funds
National Senior Citizens Law Center
National WIC Association
National Women’s Conference Committee
National Women’s Law Center
Natural Resource Defense Council
North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light
Northern California INALLIANCE
Ocean Conservancy
OMB Watch
Our Bodies Ourselves
The Partnership for Working Families
People For the American Way
Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
Population Action International
ProgressNow
Public Citizen
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
Religious Institute
Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA (RAFI – USA)
The Salvation Army Thrift Store and Service Center
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Save the Dunes
Save Our Rivers
Service Employees International Union
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)
Sierra Club
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Institute Justice Team
Southern Illinois Continuum of Care Network
Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice
Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign
United Cerebral Palsy
United for a Fair Economy
Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS)
Virginia Poverty Law Center
Voices for Illinois Children
Wabash Area Development, Inc.
World Wildlife Fund
YWCA USA
ZERO TO THREE

LETTER TO SENATE LEADERSHIP:

March 31, 2011

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:

The undersigned organizations, on behalf of our millions of members and supporters, write today to express our strong opposition to inclusion of any policy riders in legislation that will fund government operations for Fiscal Year 2011.

There have not been any hearings related to these extraordinarily far-reaching proposals.  This back-door means of legislating does not allow for adequate debate about the merits of such sweeping policy changes, which deserve full deliberation by both chambers in the course of the normal legislative process.

The House of Representatives’ Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), which was voted on one month ago, included vast cuts and erected obstructions to critical public health, worker safety, consumer, civil rights, and environmental programs.  We urge you to adopt a strict policy of rejecting all such provisions in subsequent 2011 spending bills, rather than negotiating one harmful rider against another.

We also have deep concerns about the level of the funding cuts, which we view as irresponsible and harmful.  However, these damaging policy riders have no place in this budget legislation.

Sincerely,

350.org
Advocates for Youth
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
AIDS Project Los Angeles
AIDS United
Air Alliance Houston
Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Alaska Wilderness League
Alliance to End Hunger
American Association of University Professors
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Bottom Conservancy
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Humane Association
American Medical Women’s Association
American Public Health Association
American Rivers
Americans for UNFPA
The Arc of the United States
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
ATTIC, Inc.
BCMW Community Services
Blue Green Alliance
Bread for the World
Break the Cycle
Cascade AIDS Project
Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Inc.
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Family Policy and Practice
Center for Food Safety
Center for Health and Gender Equity
Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Women Policy Studies
Children’s Dental Health Project
Citizens Against Coal Ash
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
Clean Water Action
Coalition on Human Needs
Coalition for Justice
ColorOfChange.org
Common Cause
Community Advocates for Safe Emissions, Inc. (CASE)
Community Food Security Coalition
Communications Workers of America
Concerned Citizens of Giles County LLC
Concerned Residents of Portland, NY + People Like Us (Crop Plus)
Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA)
Courage Campaign
DC Vote
Defenders of Wildlife
Democracy 21
Disciples Justice Action Network
Downwinders at Risk
Earthjustice
Earthworks
Economic Policy Institute
Environment America
Environmental Integrity Project
EQUAL Health Network
Every Child Matters
Falls Church Housing Corporation
Families USA
First State Community Action Agency
Fresh Energy
Friends of the Earth
Georgians for Smart Energy Coalition
Global Community Monitor
Greenpeace
Harm Reduction Coalition
Health Care Without Harm
HealthHIV
Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health Somerville, MA
International Center for Technology Assessment
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
Ipas
Kentucky Environmental Foundation
League of Conservation Voters
League of Women Voters
Legal Momentum
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Montanans Against Toxic Burning
National Abortion Federation
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council for Occupational Safety and Health
National Employment Law Project
National Health Law Program
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Minority AIDS Council
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
National Network of Abortion Funds
National Senior Citizens Law Center
National WIC Association
National Women’s Conference Committee
National Women’s Law Center
Natural Resource Defense Council
North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light
Northern California INALLIANCE
Ocean Conservancy
OMB Watch
Our Bodies Ourselves
The Partnership for Working Families
People For the American Way
Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
Population Action International
ProgressNow
Public Citizen
Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need
Religious Institute
Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA (RAFI – USA)
The Salvation Army Thrift Store and Service Center
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Save the Dunes
Save Our Rivers
Service Employees International Union
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)
Sierra Club
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Institute Justice Team
Southern Illinois Continuum of Care Network
Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice
Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign
United Cerebral Palsy
United for a Fair Economy
Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS)
Virginia Poverty Law Center
Voices for Illinois Children
Wabash Area Development, Inc.
World Wildlife Fund
YWCA USA
ZERO TO THREE

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