December 16, 2015

Omnibus Government Funding Bills Mostly Free of Dangerous Riders

Statement by Dr. Andrew A. Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

Washington (December 16, 2015)—Early this morning, Congressional leaders released draft text of the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2016. Congress avoided attaching many of the worst proposed policy riders to the bill, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Dr. Andrew A. Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“We’re relieved that this omnibus funding bill was not loaded with unnecessary and divisive policy riders. We worked tirelessly to oppose riders that would hurt America’s scientific enterprise, and that would interfere with science-based laws that protect our health and safety.

“We have a lot to be glad about. Congress did not put limits on the EPA Science Advisory Board that would have crippled the agency’s ability to benefit from the best independent science. They did not roll back important science-based protections from health hazards like ozone and silica dust. They did not block rules that help limit the environmental impact of fracking.

“Unfortunately, we did see a few disappointing policy riders. The bill limits the scope of scientific advice that shapes USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It also prevents the SEC from requiring companies to disclose their political spending to shareholders.

“Despite those disappointments, we are gratified that hundreds of proposed policy riders didn’t make it through. It’s a testament to the strong efforts of public interest groups that worked together to oppose these damaging riders. The White House and key members of Congress deserve credit for holding firm.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.