Take Action in 20 Minutes: Don’t Let Congress Endanger Critical Regulations

2020Action.org aims to empower people to take action on environmental issues in just 20 minutes a month. It’s monthly action ‘cards’ help people get informed on important issues and present the resources to take quick political action. GN will publish these monthly ‘cards’ in 2017.

Congress Endangers Critical Regulations — Past and Future

1. Read the background information

In our government, Congress passes the laws and federal agencies, after much scientific and economic research and public input, set down the regulations as to how those laws will be put into action. Pushed by the current administration and the right wing in Congress, the Senate has before it a “triple threat” of bills, already passed by the House, that will destroy the regulatory process as we know it. They are:

  • The REINS Act (S 21) requires each major regulation with more than $100 million annual impact to be specifically approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. It would require cost/benefit analyses for it, alternatives and related rules, including numbers on jobs. It would cover all agencies, environmental, health, food, labor, etc. Discussion on these sometimes highly technical issues would be limited to 2 hours total, with no amendments allowed, and no judicial review of the decisions. It would fundamentally devastate our regulatory process.
  • The Regulatory Accountability Act (S 951) repeats some provisions of S 21 and adds many other requirements such as undergoing cross-examination by regulated corporations and industries, all of which will water down the regulations and slow down an already slow process.
  • The Midnight Rules Relief Act (S 34) allows a whole list of regulations enacted in the last 8 months of the previous presidency to be invalidated “en bloc” with a single vote in each house. The reason for this extraordinary provision? It would take too long to vote on them individually!

2. Contact your US Senators immediately. Your own words make a difference in the impact of messages received.

Urge your Senators to oppose all three destructive bills. Tell them that the health and well-being of our citizens and our environment need strong, fully considered and implemented regulations. A picture of an unregulated world can be seen in China and other countries with their toxic land, dirty water, and polluted air. These 3 laws, if passed, will do irreparable long-term damage.

www.senate.gov; send an email or leave a message via ‘Contact’ on his/her website

Senator Elizabeth Warren: (D.C.) 202 224-4543, (Boston) 617 565-3170
Senator Edward Markey: (D.C.) 202 224-2742, (Boston) 617 565-8519

202 224-3121 (Capitol switchboard–ask for his/her office & leave a message)

Senator (first & last name)
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510

3. Broadcast This Message.

Write a letter to the editor of your local press about this important and timely issue. You can submit a letter to the editor on most newspaper websites. Simply copy and paste selected text from this message and add your personal thoughts. Also, please forward this message to friends and family, and ‘like’ our postcard page at 2020Action.org. This is a powerful way to educate and mobilize others—our job in the coming years.

(Headline photo by Janet Hollingsworth, Wolftown Sunset)