Corporate Congress Next Week: Lawmakers Adore Fossil Fuels and Pharma

Photo by BlackburnPhoto via flickr
Photo by BlackburnPhoto via flickr

The fossil fuel industry and Big Pharma are the darlings of Corporate Congress next week.

Clean Power Plan

Lawmakers in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will move forward with Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions to disapprove of two key rules designed to curb climate change. One is the Clean Power Plan, which would curb emissions from existing power plants. The other rule addresses emissions from new power plants.

Lawmakers are pushing these despite the fact that the rules are commonsense safeguards against carbon pollution, with significant public health and economic benefits. The more controversial of the two rules, the Clean Power Plan, would benefit consumers by lowering their electricity bills. (On Monday, Public Citizen will release a report with state-by-state information about this.)

The Clean Power Plan will save thousands of lives and reduce asthma attacks by the hundreds of thousands. It gives states the flexibility to develop their own plans to meet pollution reduction targets.

In the Senate, lawmakers will take a floor vote on the disapproval resolutions. In the House, the resolutions will be considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

FDA Commissioner

Also next week, lawmakers will consider the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf – who has a well-documented and cozy relationship with pharmaceutical and medical device companies – for U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner. That agency oversees the industries Califf is cozy with. Because of the conflicts of interest, Public Citizen has called on President Barack Obama to withdraw Califf’s nomination.

Budget

It is rumored that by Nov. 20, appropriations subcommittees will complete their work on the budget and will forward the work to the full committees.

Public Citizen and a coalition of nearly 200 groups are working to block ideological policy riders that corporate-backed lawmakers couldn’t get passed otherwise. We’re talking about policies that deny women access to the health care provider of their choice; block safeguards that protect our homes, pocketbooks and workplaces; lower standards that keep our food, air and water safe; and more.