Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Statement by the Honorable Bobby L. Rush at the Full Committee Markup of H.R. 2250, H.R. 2681and H.R. 2937 - 1 of 2 Amendment Statements

Sep 21, 2011
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile
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Sharon Jenkins
(202) 225-4372 ofc.; (202) 431-8191 mobile

Amendment Statement in Support of Rush Amendment to H.R. 2250

WASHINGTON –– “Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk (Rush #01).

“Mr. Chairman, in an effort to continue the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that’s been evidenced in this room, today, I offer the following amendment.

“Mr. Chairman, during her testimony at the September 8 hearing, Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, called H.R. 2250 a “direct attack at the core of the Clean Air Act.”

“One of the major concerns with H.R. 2250 is that the bill would “indefinitely delay” the health benefits generated by the rules to reduce air toxins from certain boilers, solid waste incinerators and cement kilns.

“Additionally, as Ms. McCarthy testified before the subcommittee, H.R. 2250 would raise additional public health concerns by weakening substantive Clean Air Act provisions by requiring that the EPA select the “least burdensome” of the range of regulatory alternatives even if a more stringent standard is feasible, economically viable, and would provide greater public health protection.

“Mr. Chairman, as written, Section 5 of H.R. 2250 will raise legal uncertainty and the industry could then argue, in the courts, that this new language should modify or supersede existing provisions of the Clean Air Act, which were designed to achieve maximum reductions in toxic air pollution.

“While it remains unclear if this was the intent of the language or not, the fact remains that the language in Section 5 is ambiguous, at best, and will roll back important provisions of the Clean Air Act, at worst.

“Mr. Chairman, the research also tells us that low-income families and minorities are disproportionately affected by toxic air pollution because they are more likely to live closer to these industrial facilities.

“The hazardous air pollutants emitted from these boilers, including mercury and other harmful toxins, can impair brain development, neurological function, and the ability to learn, as well as potentially cause cancer.

“These toxins can also lead to respiratory and cardiovascular disease by damaging the kidneys, lungs, and nervous system.

“So, Mr. Chairman, today I am offering an amendment that would clarify that Section 5 of H.R. 2250 is intended to supplement the provisions of, and shall not be construed to supersede any requirement, limitation, or other provision of, Sections 112 and 129 of the Clean Air Act.

“If it is the majority’s intent to clarify the rules and provide certainty for business then this amendment would provide clarity to the EPA, the industry, and the courts going forward as these rules are, inevitably, challenged in the judicial system. 

“And, so, Mr. Chairman I urge all of my colleagues to support my amendment…and with that I yield back the balance of my time.

“Mr. Chairman, in the spirit of contagious bipartisanship, I offer this amendment.”

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NOTE:  You may view today's markup proceeding in its entirety by visiting the Democratic Site of the Energy and Commerce Committee by clicking here:

Full Committee Markup on "H.R. 2250, H.R. 2681, and H.R. 2937"