Senate Dems to Obama: Stand firm on EPA rules in spending talks

The GOP-controlled House last month passed a continuing resolution for the balance of fiscal year 2011 that would blocking funding for EPA’s implementation of greenhouse-gas rules, as well rules to curb mercury and other emissions from cement kilns and other policies.

Democrats and Republicans must reach a spending deal by April 8 to prevent a government shutdown.

Here is the whole letter:

The President
White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
 
The Vice President
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
 
Dear Mr. President and Mr. Vice President,
 
As you know, the Environmental Protection Agency was a primary target of H.R. 1.  The Republican proposal drastically cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and included backdoor efforts to undermine the nation’s landmark environmental laws. 
 
We stand with a wide range of the nation’s leading public health organizations in opposing efforts to undermine the Clean Air Act, including the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Thoracic Society, the American Nurses Association, the National Medical Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Trust for America's Health.
 
While we all agree that there must be cuts to the budget in order to reduce the federal deficit, it must be done in thoughtful and responsible way that does not sacrifice a clean and safe environment.  Our nation is facing tough economic times, but tough times call for intelligent decision-making and wisdom, not reckless cuts that will do more harm than good – cuts that will lead to illness and premature death.
 
Recently, many of us participated in a press conference with leading health experts including the American Lung Association who said "H.R. 1 is toxic to public health" and it "will have dire consequences for all Americans, especially people with lung diseases, including lung cancer, asthma and emphysema." 
 
We look forward to working together with you to develop a reasonable budget with no harmful riders that will enable EPA to maintain the environmental safeguards that have protected the American people for 40 years.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
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