The House passed legislation on Thursday to amend a law already on the books governing federal cleanup of Superfund and hazardous waste sites.
The bill was approved on a party-line vote of 225-188, with only five Democrats supporting the measure, including Reps. Jim Costa of California, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, and Nick Rahall of West Virginia. The nill is not likely to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The legislation — the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act — is a combination of three separate measures introduced by Republican Reps. Cory Gardner of Colorado, and Bill Johnson and Bob Latta of Ohio. The package of bills would give states the ability to assign priority to Superfund cleanups managed by federal laws, impose state and local laws on federal cleanup projects, and block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing regulations for hazardous waste disposal in states where similar regulations already exist.
House conservatives used the bill’s passage as a chance to put themselves on record in support of eliminating federal overreach in the environmental sector.
“We are five years into this failed experiment of increased government spending, taxation, and regulation,” Gardner said in a statement. “The results are clear: The power to grow our economy and put Americans back to work lies in the private sector. With more than 80,000 pages of new federal regulations published in 2013 alone, commonsense revisions of existing rules and regulations are a vital part of ensuring businesses that power our state and local economies are given the capability to grow.”
There was plenty of opposition to the legislation, however.
The White House issued a statement saying the president would veto the bill if it reached his desk. And more than 120 interest groups, including environmental advocacy organizations such as Earthjustice, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, sent a letter to Congress opposing the measure.
The legislation “substantially increases the potential for harm in communities across the United States. As one in four Americans live within three miles of a hazardous-waste site, safe management and prompt cleanup of toxic waste sites are essential to our nation’s health and economy,” the signatories wrote.
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Along party lines, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to tighten privacy standards for Internet service providers. "The regulations will require providers to receive explicit customer consent before using an individual’s web browsing or app usage history for marketing purposes. The broadband industry fought to keep that obligation out of the rules."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that "there was “precedent” for a Supreme Court with fewer than nine justices—appearing to suggest that the blockade on nominee Merrick Garland could last past the election." Speaking to reporters in Colorado, Cruz said: "I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That’s a debate that we are going to have.”
The Democratic National Committee sued the Republican National Committee in U.S. District Court in New Jersey for aiding GOP nominee Donald Trump as he argues that the presidential election is "rigged." The DNC claims "that Trump's argument is designed to suppress the vote in minority communities."
"Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. The November 2011 memo from Douglas Band, at the time a top aide to Mr. Clinton, outlines extensive fundraising efforts that Mr. Band and a partner deployed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and how that work sometimes translated into large speaking fees and other paid work for Mr. Clinton."