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Pallone & Tonko Voice Opposition to Current Framework of Legislation to Update Chemical Safety Laws

May 17, 2016
Press Release
Negotiated Bill is Significantly Weaker than House-Passed Bill & Current Law

Washington, DC – Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Ranking Member Paul Tonko (D-NY) today said they will oppose the current framework of legislation to update chemical safety laws unless significant changes are made.  Last year, Pallone and Tonko worked with their House Republican counterparts to produce the first major overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to pass either chamber in almost 40 years.  For five months, Pallone and Tonko have served as the lead House Democratic negotiators working with other House and Senate leaders to reconcile differences between a TSCA bill that overwhelmingly passed the House last June and a Senate bill that passed under unanimous consent in December. Pallone and Tonko issued the following comment today:
After over a year of bipartisan negotiations to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), our Energy and Commerce Committee Republican counterparts walked away from a bipartisan deal we agreed to last month, and are working with Senators on a troublesome legislative framework that we simply cannot support.  We had hoped to support a strong TSCA bill that would empower the EPA to identify and manage dangerous chemicals, but the current draft is not only significantly weaker than the bipartisan deal we negotiated, it is actually weaker than current law.  Unfortunately, at this point, it would be better for us to not act at all than to pass the deal that Energy and Commerce Republican leaders and Senate negotiators are proposing.  We encourage our colleagues to reconsider the harmful changes they have made to the legislation in the last week, and continue working with us to craft a final bill that would truly protect public health and the environment.