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 LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGreens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (W.Va.), Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). The amendment failed.