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Report: 140 House Members Vote Against Chemical Safeguards Every Time

Politics
L: Michael Coghlan / Flickr R: Coloured chest X-ray of a male patient showing evidence of a mesothelioma lung cancer, which is usually associated with exposure to asbestos. Zephyr / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

The Environmental Working Group Action Fund, the political arm of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), released a first-ever report that scores how each member of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on chemical policy and safety.

The scorecard shows that 140 House members voted against chemical safeguards every time, while 149 members consistently voted for chemical safety protections.


"While no president has ever done as much to weaken safeguards for toxic chemicals as Donald Trump, too many members of Congress have collaborated with the Trump administration or cast votes in favor of policies that reversed or delayed chemical bans, gutted chemical safety rules, rejected sound science, weakened worker and consumer protections, and denied justice to asbestos victims," the report said.

The report specifically focused on 17 bills and amendments that were up for a vote during the 115th and 114th Congresses.

The EWG Action Fund also singled out several lawmakers, including Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.), Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), who the action fund says introduced or co-sponsored measures that weaken existing chemical safety laws.

"Over and over, too many legislators voted to support President Trump's agenda to eliminate toxic chemical safeguards," said Scott Faber, speaking on behalf of EWG Action Fund, in a statement received by EcoWatch.

"Too many members of Congress have collaborated with the Trump administration to advance policies that reject sound science and weaken worker and consumer protections," Faber added. "And many more stood by silently when Trump's EPA reversed or delayed chemical bans or gutted chemical safety rules."

Most Republican members of Congress were graded poorly in the report. However, the action fund praised the lawmakers that bucked their party to vote for chemical safety, including Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and others who voted to protect asbestos victims.

The action fund also noted that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) voted for funding chemical reviews and against a farm bill that included pesticide safety loopholes. Florida Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voted against efforts to weaken agency science, and Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis voted against toxic air pollution loopholes.

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