The public interest community came together this week to demand that lawmakers in Washington, DC, stop playing politics with public health and welfare. PAN joined a coalition of labor, environmental, consumer advocacy, health care, and other public interest organizations - 72 groups in all - in calling on the new Congress to oppose a fast-moving bill that aims to halt new protections designed to safeguard the American people.
The letter clearly outlines the groups' concerns:
This misguided bill would jeopardize crucial public protections by further complicating the rulemaking process and politicizing decisions about health and welfare.
Congress recognized the need for action when it passed recent laws that delegate to agencies responsibilities for protecting children from toxic toys, families from tainted food, consumers from financial exploitation, and sick children from being denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition.
Organizations signing onto the letter represent a wide range of interests. A small sampling shows the diversity of groups expressing concern: AFL-CIO; American Federation of Government Employees; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; American Lung Association; Center for Biological Diversity; Consumer Federation of America; Gray Panthers; Health Care for America Now; Interfaith Worker Justice; League of Conservation Voters; National Women's Health Network; Physicians for Social Responsibility, United Steelworkers and Pesticide Action Network.
Markup of the proposed legislation is expected soon in the House, and companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).