Dems: ‘Toxic’ environmental spending bill will spread heat, death

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Moran said that with all the attention focused on the debt ceiling, the bill has not gotten enough scrutiny.

“Only the House Republicans who have been cooped up inside for weeks debating whether to crater our economy could ignore what is going on outside,” Markey said.

Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said that it is the worst such spending bill in his 35 years on the appropriations committee.

Moran and Dicks said that it would be wrong to assume the spending bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. They noted that there is a chance that some of the 39 riders will make it into law, especially because some enjoy some Democratic support in the Senate.

Moran said riders allowing mountaintop mining and delaying the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases could make it through or could be used as negotiating leverage.

“As you know everything seems to get negotiated. I don’t think we should take for granted that none of the provisions in this bill will see the light of day,” he said.

Democrats are hoping to get some GOP support on the floor to strip out some of the riders, Dicks said. Amendments will be offered to restore the ability to add new species to the Endangered Species List and to restore a ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. He said 260 species are in danger of extinction because the bill defunds any actions adding species to the endangered list.