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The Planet


Stepping up its assault on congressional GOP deregulatory efforts, a coalition of labor, environmental and other public interest groups is scheduled to release a report today cataloguing 165 measures included in FY96 appropriations bills that it contends attempt to "topple" pubic protections.

The report by Citizens for Sensible Safeguards charges that with earlier attacks on federal regulations having stumbled, Republican legislators have turned to a backdoor strategy -through funding cuts and "riders" on appropriations legislation that will "harm workers, public safety and the environment."

An advance copy of the report by the coalition, titled "Backdoor Extremism," was provided Tuesday to Congress Daily. Some of the measures discussed in the study -- such as the environmental riders in the FY96 VA-HUD appropriations bill -- already have received significant attention.

But other measures -- such as those affecting a range of food safety, transportation safety, education and labor measures -- have grabbed fewer headlines.

For instance, the report targets cutbacks in FDA food safety funding, such as a provision to eliminate funding for a program that traces illnesses related to contaminated eggs. The report also targets a long list of labor provisions, such as exemptions from mine safety training requirements and OSHA inspection requirements.

A range of education cuts also are targeted in the study. For instance, the report asserts that House legislation would prevent the Education Department from ensuring female college students have equal athletic opportunities.

Asked for response Tuesday to the charges by the coalition, an aide to House Appropriations Chairman Livingston questioned how many of the funding cuts criticized in the report could be characterized as "backdoor" actions and also questioned the accuracy of some of the allegations.

And an aide to House Majority Whip DeLay said DeLay supports "sensible safeguards" -- although he may differ with the group on what is sensible.

Citizens for Sensible Safeguards; c/o

OMB Watch
1742 Connecticut Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20009

PHONE: (202) 234-8494 FAX: (202) 234-8584


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