What: All Issues : Environment : (H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting the use of funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded government agencies and programs for the remainder of the year) for the enforcement of environmental standards regulating air toxins released by cement manufacturing. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs. (2011 house Roll Call 86)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting the use of funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded government agencies and programs for the remainder of the year) for the enforcement of environmental standards regulating air toxins released by cement manufacturing. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
house Roll Call 86     Feb 17, 2011
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Progressive Result
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This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. John Carter (R-TX) prohibiting the use of funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded government agencies and programs for the remainder of the year) for the enforcement of environmental standards regulating air toxins released by cement manufacturing. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Carter urged support for his amendment: “The U.S. cement industry provides more than 15,000 high-wage jobs with an average compensation of $75,000 per year, and, along with allied industries, accounts for nearly $27.5 billion of the gross domestic product. Due to the recession, the cement industry has already lost over 4,000 jobs. This bad rule [regulating air toxins] threatens to close another 18 of the 97 cement plants nationwide and throw another 1,800 Americans out of good-paying private sector jobs….as bitter as this would be in the middle of a horrible recession, if it were to guarantee that it would reduce mercury pollution, at least this high human cost might be justified. But when the cement production from these plants is shifted to China and India with no air quality standards, we could face increased mercury pollution worldwide and in this country.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) opposed the amendment: “…What it [the amendment] does is to prohibit EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] from implementing, administering or enforcing final rules to control air toxins from the…cement industry. The standards for… cement kilns have already been promulgated. The amendment would not relieve the industry of the obligation to meet these standards. Even though the agency would be precluded from spending funds to enforce the standards, citizens or states could bring enforcement actions against these sources of pollution that didn't comply with the standards….These funding limitations to stop EPA rules really have unintended consequences. They don't stop the legal requirements to regulate polluters. They really do, though, contribute to the pockets of lawyers that would litigate these issues out in the courtrooms.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 250-177. Voting “yea” were 231 Republicans and 19 Democrats. 170 Democrats—including a majority of progressives--and 7 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment prohibiting the use of funds provided by a continuing resolution for the enforcement of environmental standards regulating air toxins released by cement manufacturing.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss