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100+ Groups Oppose Provisions That Threaten Public Protections

By Mike Litt
Consumer Program Advocate

The White House is expected to release its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal tomorrow. U.S. PIRG and various state PIRGs joined a coalition of more than 100 groups that sent the following letter calling on President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains ideological policy riders.

Dear President Obama and Members of Congress,
 
We, the undersigned organizations, write to ask you to oppose any FY 2017 appropriations bills which include inappropriate ideological policy riders. 
 
Appropriations bills have been used before to undermine essential safeguards through “policy riders” – provisions that address extraneous policy issues, and are slipped into appropriations bills to win approval as part of must-pass funding legislation. Last year, hundreds of these policy provisions were proposed as a part of the omnibus process, and in this year’s budget process some members of Congress have already started to insist on inappropriate riders. 
 
Ideological riders are measures that the public opposes, and that the President would likely veto as standalone legislation. The American people support policies to restrain Wall Street abuses and ensure safe and healthy food and products, to protect our air, land, water and wildlife, to ensure safe and fair workplaces, to prevent consumer rip-offs and corporate wrongdoing, to create fair rules of the road for our campaign finance system, to provide access to justice, and to ensure continued access to vital health care services.
 
Inappropriate riders are intended to advance the priorities of special interest donors and supporters, and they have become the “new earmarks.” However, in many ways, they are actually far worse than the old district-specific earmarks, because they have vastly greater reach and nationwide consequence for the American people. 
 
We urge Members of Congress to oppose flawed funding proposals that include ideological policy riders. We further urge the administration in the strongest possible terms to oppose any funding bills that have such riders, whether moving via regular order or as part of a funding package.
 
Sincerely,
 
Advocates for Better Children’s Diets
Alaska PIRG
Alliance for Justice
American Association for Justice
American Association of University Women (AAUW)\
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFLCIO)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Americans for Financial Reform
Arizona PIRG
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Breast Cancer Action
Bright Lines Project
CALPIRG
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Effective Government
Center for Justice & Democracy
Center for Progressive Reform
Center for Responsible Lending
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Chicago Consumer Coalition
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Coalition on Human Needs
Common Cause
Communications Workers of America
ConnPIRG
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of America
Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
CoPIRG
Daily Kos
Defenders of Wildlife
Democracy 21
Demos
Earthjustice
Economic Policy Institute
Empire, State Consumer Project, Inc.
Endangered Species Coalition
Environment America
Epic-Environmental Protection Information Center
Every Voice
Florida PIRG
Free Press Action Fund
Georgia PIRG
Green America
Goodwill Industries International
Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings
Illinois PIRG
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of
America (UAW)
Iowa PIRG
Klamath Forest Alliance
Main Street Alliance
Maryland PIRG
Massachusetts Consumers Council
MASSPIRG
MoPIRG
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
National Center for Health Research
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients)
National Consumers League
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA National Council of Asian Pacific
Americans (NCAPA)
National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH)
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Organization for Women
Natural Resources Defense Council
NCPIRG
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
New Progressive Alliance
NHPIRG
NJ PIRG
NMPIRG
Oceana
Ohio PIRG
Oregon PIRG (OSPIRG)
PennPIRG
People For the American Way
PIRG in Michigan (PIRGIM)
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Public Citizen
Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA)
RIPIRG
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Texas Consumer Association
TexPIRG
The Arc
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR)
The Wilderness Society
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG)
Union of Concerned Scientists
Voices for Progress
VPIRG
WashPIRG
WildEarth Guardians
Wildlands Network
Wildlife Conservation Society
WISPIRG
Woodstock Institute
Workplace Fairness

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