[eDebate] more public dabait protections: the sunset commissions

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Sun Jun 25 16:23:56 CDT 2006

rest on your laurels and do nothing b/c your dabait community is safe in the 
hands of the neocons.  we got some damn good inherency ev here for future 


une 23, 2006 | Back Issues
White House, GOP Leaders Plan All-Out Assault on Federal Protections

Apparently rushing to lock in a long-sought goal before the fall elections, 
GOP congressional leaders may bring to a vote within weeks a proposal that 
could literally wipe out any federal program that protects public health or 
the environment--or for that matter civil rights, poverty programs, auto 
safety, education, affordable housing, Head Start, workplace safety or any 
other activity targeted by anti-regulatory forces.

With strong support from the Bush White House and the Republican Study 
Committee, the proposal would create a "sunset commission"--an unelected 
body with the power to recommend whether a program lives or dies, and then 
move its recommendations through Congress on a fast-track basis with limited 
debate and no amendments.

Three leading proposals have been introduced and are being winnowed into a 
final version. They would give the White House some--or total--authority to 
nominate members to the commission. House Majority Leader John Boehner 
(R-OH) has confirmed that his office is coordinating development of a final 
version for prompt floor action.

Sunset commissions have been proposed, and defeated, before. But public 
interest veterans say the current situation is unlike any in the past, 
because the House Republican Study Committee, which includes some of the 
most anti-regulatory members of Congress, has secured guaranteed floor 
consideration of a sunset bill.

If such a bill should become law, the sunset commission could be packed with 
industry lobbyists and representatives from industry-funded think tanks, and 
could conduct its business in secrecy. Two of the sunset proposals under 
consideration would mandate that programs die after they are reviewed, 
unless Congress takes action to save them.

Several environmental programs have been targeted during past sunset 
attempts. Experts predict those would be among the first a sunset commission 
would review. Among them: the Energy Star Program; federal support for mass 
transit; the State Energy Program, which supports numerous state and local 
energy renewable efficiency programs; the Clean School Bus Program; the Land 
and Water Conservation Fund; federal grants for Wastewater infrastructure; a 
national children's health study that examines factors leading to such 
problems as premature birth, autism, obesity, asthma, and exposures to 
pesticides, mercury and other toxic chemicals.

A coalition of public interest groups is fighting to block enactment of a 
sunset commission. Information is available through the Sunset Commission 
Action Center at OMB Watch.

Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE! 

More information about the Mailman mailing list