Congress Loads Interior Appropriations Bill With Anti-Environmental Riders

(07/23/1998) - Washington, D.C. - Conservationists warn that Congress stands poised to pass the "worst-ever" Interior appropriations bill for FY 1999. Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen concurred with Secretary Bruce Babbitt's statement at the Interior Department press conference today that because of anti-environmental riders, "1998 takes the process of backdoor legislation to a new height."

Following passage by the House of Representatives of Interior appropriations legislation this afternoon, Schlickeisen warned, " If you think the House bill passed today is bad, stay tuned for the Senate version when it comes to the floor." Although both the House and Senate Interior bills contain attacks on the environment, by sheer volume of anti-environmental riders, the Interior spending bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee is the worst we've seen." (List of Senate riders available.) Schlickeisen represented environmental groups at a White House press conference on the riders in June.

"At the White House press conference in June Vice President Al Gore drew a line in the sand when he announced that the Administration would not tolerate stealth attacks on the environment during the appropriations process," Schlickeisen said. "Today we applaud Secretary Babbitt for repeating his intention to recommend vetoes of anti-environmental bills. This Congress is no greener than the last Congress, but it is sneakier."



Joan Moody, 202-682-9400 x220 Media
Mary Beth Beetham, 202-682-9400 x231 Program