GOP accused of holding public health hostage with EPA rider

"These are not political issues; these are science-based issues," added Donald Hoppert, director of government relations for the American Public Health Association. "EPA scientific findings should not be overturned by Congress."

In response to Republican concerns that environmental regulations are hurting the economy and costing jobs, Hoppert said EPA data show that the Clean Air Act in 2010 prevented more than 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks and millions of lost workdays.

The two officials also said they're gearing up for a fight over the 2012 budget as well. 

And they vowed to continue to reach out to the four Senate Democrats who voted Wednesday in favor of a Republican amendment to permanently prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions: Sens. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuTrump posts O'Keefe videos on Instagram O'Keefe video shows CNN's Van Jones calling Russia story a ‘nothingburger’ White House encourages viewing of anti-CNN James O'Keefe video MORE (La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinFood Network star honors veterans with dessert feast Dems face identity crisis This week: Senate races toward ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (W.Va.), Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). The amendment failed.