Lead House Democrats Condemn Republicans for Abandoning Their Support of an Asbestos Ban
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) released the following joint statement today condemning House Republicans for blocking the long-awaited, previously bipartisan Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act from being passed this week:
“This bill had strong bipartisan support throughout the Committee process — but now House Republicans are changing their minds and abandoning the deal they used to support. Everyone should be able to support a ban on this known carcinogen, which has no place in our consumer products or processes. More than 40,000 Americans die every year from asbestos exposure, but Republicans are willing to look the other way.
“It appears Republicans care more about political optics than human lives. We see through it, as do the American people who want this toxic substance banned for good. Republicans walked away from this opportunity to ban asbestos merely over language that prevents shutting the courtroom door. This raises serious questions about the sincerity of their intentions.”
H.R. 1603, the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, is supported by a diverse group of worker and public health organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the International Association of Firefighters and the American Public Health Association.