Washington DC – Clean Water Action is appalled that the leadership of the US House of Representatives appears willing to shut down the federal government in order to win passage of budget riders limiting the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and prohibiting funding for Planned Parenthood.
While recent press reports have indicated that the EPA restrictions may no longer be on the table, the House Republican leadership has brought the federal government close to the brink of shutdown over policy issues that should not be part of budget negotiations.
Robert Wendelgass, CEO of Clean Water Action commented that: "The attacks on the EPA could eliminate our ability to address climate change, exposing future generations to extremes of weather and resulting impacts from sea level rise, flooding, food shortages and heat deaths." Other riders under consideration very recently would have prevented EPA from controlling pollution in fossil fuel extraction, allowing rivers and streams to be polluted and destroyed from mining activities.
Kathleen Aterno, National Managing Director for Clean Water Action said: "The attacks on Planned Parenthood and the effort to prevent any federal funding for its services will, if successful, have a devastating effect on the health of women and children across the nation.” She added: “Many low and moderate income women use Planned Parenthood clinics for basic health care services as well as family planning services. Eliminating services on which women rely will take a terrible toll on their health and well being and is contrary to sound public policy which should prioritize public health needs."
Wendelgass added: "Shutting the federal government down over policy riders that have already been defeated on votes in the US Senate is irresponsible and bad government." He concluded: "We urge the President and Senate to hold firm and urge the members of the US House to come to their senses before a federal shutdown imperils our already weakened economy."
Clean Water Action is a national environmental organization with almost one million members that works to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and quality of life. www.cleanwateraction.org