Published: September 2015

Policy riders threaten vital public safeguards, hijack budget process

A coalition of 178 groups is urging President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains inappropriate and ideological policy riders. These riders would jeopardize policies that restrain Wall Street abuses; guarantee clean air, food and water; ensure safe consumer products and continued access to vital health care services; keep homes and workplaces safe; prevent consumer rip-offs; and hold big corporations accountable for wrongdoing.

Citing a lengthy list of "wildly inappropriate" provisions that have been attached to pending U.S. budget proposals, a coalition of 178 groups calls on President Barack Obama and Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bills that include "ideological" policy riders. Advocates charge lawmakers with inserting controversial and unpopular measures—ones with "little or no connection to funding the government"—into must-pass legislation in order "to serve the narrow interests of particular industries at the expense of public health, safety, workers’ rights, financial security, science, and the environment."

The policy riders being tacked on to the budget bills have little or no connection to funding the government and in many cases are both highly controversial and unpopular. That is why lawmakers are attempting to insert them into must-pass legislation; it is their best chance of enacting the measures into law.

Lead Organization

Public Citizen

Other Organizations

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFLCIO) | American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) | American Lung Association | Blue Green Alliance | Breast Cancer Action | California Reinvestment Coalition | Center for Auto Safety | Center for Justice & Democracy | Center for Media Justice | Center for Progressive Reform | Center for Responsible Lending | Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists | Center for Science in the Public Interest | Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Federation of California | Daily Kos | Defenders of Wildlife | Demos | Earthjustice | Economic Policy Institute | Endangered Species Coalition | Energy Action Coalition | Farmworker Justice | Free Press Action Fund | Greenpeace | International Brotherhood of Teamsters | League of Conservation Voters | NAACP | NARAL Pro-Choice America| National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients) | National Council for Occupational Safety and Health | National Employment Lawyers Association | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Organization for Women | National Women’s Law Center | New Progressive Alliance | People for the American Way | Planned Parenthood Federation of America | Public Citizen | Public Knowledge | Public Justice Center Service Employees International Union (SEIU) The National Consumers League U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) United Steelworkers (USW) United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities Voices for Progress Worksafe

More Information

To read the coalition letter and see full list of supporters, please click here.

For more information, please visit Public Citizen.

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