BY ON April 5, 2011

This post originally appeared on Non-Toxic Kids.

Right now in the halls of Congress debates are happening that will effect the health of our children. Decisions being made in the next few days could have devastating effects our nation’s air quality.

The United States capitol building

On the chopping block during the recent budget talks? The EPA and their ability help protect our environment– including the new Mercury/Air Toxics rule that would create higher standards for cleaner air, saving lives and limiting the suffering of thousands of Americans every year. In fact, this rule would prevent up to 17,000 premature deaths and 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms each year.

Here’s a letter from Senate Democrats, urging President Obama not to agree to spending plans that undermine Environmental Protection Agency rules.

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.


Barbara Boxer
Chairman, Environment and Public Works Committee

John Kerry
United States Senator

Joe Lieberman
United States Senator

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Patty Murray
United States Senator

Richard Durbin
United States Senator

Charles Schumer
United States Senator

Thomas Carper
United States Senator

Senator Marie Cantwell
United States Senator

Frank Lautenberg
United States Senator

Bob Menendez
United States Senator

Ben Cardin
United States Senator

Bernie Sanders
United States Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senator

Tom Udall
United States Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
United States Senator

Jeff Merkley
United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Al Franken
United States Senator

I stand with these Senators. I hope you do, too. Click here to add your voice of support.

TOPICS: Asthma, Mercury Poisoning, Politics, Pollution