Expect quite the spectacle next week in the Corporate Congress. On Thursday and Friday, the U.S. Senate is holding a “vote-o-rama,” in which senators will weigh in on hundreds of budget amendments introduced in rapid succession. Although the chances of any of these making it into law are slim to none, lawmakers of both parties view the vote-o-rama as a chance to promote their agendas and force members on the other side of the aisle to take uncomfortable votes.
We don’t know exactly what amendments will be considered, but we expect them to include attacks on the regulatory system, gifts to the fossil fuel industry, attempts to block citizen access to the courts (a favorite proposal of big business interests), measures to water down Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms and more.
As always, Public Citizen’s team of Congress watchers will be following the action.
In addition, the concentrated attack on the regulatory system continues. Generally, pro-corporate lawmakers are putting forth measures that would undermine the standards and safeguards that protect American workers and families from harm. The measures would bury federal agencies under a host of new procedural and analytical requirements, and paralyze their work, as well as jeopardize our food, air, water, homes, workplaces and pocketbooks.
To that end, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee will consider several dangerous regulatory measures:
o H.R. 348, the “Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2015,” which would make it easier for companies to acquire permit approvals without addressing critical environmental, health and safety concerns. This would increase the likelihood of future disasters like the BP spill;
o H.R. 712, the “Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015,” which would weaken the ability of citizens to prod federal regulatory agencies to follow the law; and
o H.R. 1155, the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act of 2015,” which would establish a new bureaucracy empowered to dismantle long-established public health and safety standards.