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Public Statements

Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States, and Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States - Budget Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency

Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, and 18 of his Senate colleagues wrote to President Obama and Vice President Biden to urge the Administration to develop a budget that will enable the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to maintain environmental safeguards that protect public health.

"While we all agree that there must be cuts to the budget in order to reduce the federal deficit, it must be done in thoughtful and responsible way that does not sacrifice a clean and safe environment. Our nation is facing tough economic times, but tough times call for intelligent decision-making and wisdom, not reckless cuts that will do more harm than good - cuts that will lead to illness and premature death," wrote the Senators.

The letter was also signed by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Al Franken (D-MN).

In February, the House of Representatives passed the Republican budget proposal, H.R. 1, which undermined public health protections and slashed EPA's budget for infrastructure investment and public health safeguards by nearly one-third below fiscal year 2010 levels. While the Senate voted the measure down, House Republicans continue to push the deep cuts in H.R. 1 as negotiations on a longer term funding bill continue with the Senate and the Obama Administration. The latest stopgap funding measure expires on Friday, April 8, 2011.

Early this month, Sen. Carper and was joined by several of the nation's leading public health organizations, including the American Lung Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, to speak in opposition to H.R. 1 and attacks on the Clean Air Act.

A copy of the letter to President Obama and Vice President Biden follows:

The President
White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

The Vice President
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice President,

As you know, the Environmental Protection Agency was a primary target of H.R. 1. The Republican proposal drastically cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and included backdoor efforts to undermine the nation's landmark environmental laws.

We stand with a wide range of the nation's leading public health organizations in opposing efforts to undermine the Clean Air Act, including the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Thoracic Society, the American Nurses Association, the National Medical Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Trust for America's Health.

While we all agree that there must be cuts to the budget in order to reduce the federal deficit, it must be done in thoughtful and responsible way that does not sacrifice a clean and safe environment. Our nation is facing tough economic times, but tough times call for intelligent decision-making and wisdom, not reckless cuts that will do more harm than good - cuts that will lead to illness and premature death.

Recently, many of us participated in a press conference with leading health experts including the American Lung Association who said "H.R. 1 is toxic to public health" and it "will have dire consequences for all Americans, especially people with lung diseases, including lung cancer, asthma and emphysema."

We look forward to working together with you to develop a reasonable budget with no harmful riders that will enable EPA to maintain the environmental safeguards that have protected the American people for 40 years.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
Chairman, Environment and Public Works Committee

John Kerry
United States Senator

Joe Lieberman
United States Senator

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Patty Murray
United States Senator

Richard Durbin
United States Senator

Charles Schumer
United States Senator

Thomas Carper
United States Senator

Marie Cantwell
United States Senator

Frank Lautenberg
United States Senator

Bob Menendez
United States Senator

Ben Cardin
United States Senator

Bernie Sanders
United States Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senator

Tom Udall
United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

Jeff Merkley
United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Al Franken
United States Senator


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