Washington, D.C. –This afternoon the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) joined the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition to“filibuster” H.R. 2584, a bill proposing unprecedented cuts to pollution controls and public health protections. More than 20 Members of Congress spoke for more than two hours to protest the bill, in which House Republicans are attempting to make back-door changes to 40 years of federal laws that protect clean air, water, lands, and wildlife. 

The legislation would slash the budgets of key federal agencies charged with protecting American citizens and natural resources, which would severely reduce the federal workforce and eliminate jobs. The bill would overturn 40 years of progress protecting the American people and the environment.

“Why do Republicans think wiping out environmental protections would help the country more than making sure big corporations stop taking advantage of tax loopholes?” said CPC co-chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “Our priorities are very different and very clear. Instead of opening up the Grand Canyon to mining and our nation’s open spaces to logging and drilling, why don’t we create jobs and work on laws to benefit everyone rather than just a wealthy few? We’re going to keep asking these questions until we hear some answers, and that’s why I was so proud to raise my voice alongside my colleagues today.”

Video of Rep. Grijalva’s statement on the House floor is reviewable at http://bit.ly/p1pIQd.

“This bill is the biggest assault on clean air, clean water, and basic environmental protections that this country has ever seen,” CPC co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison “Minnesota has a history of commitment to our environment. My constituents did not send me to Washington to advance the interests of Big Oil at the expense of the air we breathe.”

H.R. 2584 would fund the Environmental Protection Agency at 40percent below fiscal year 2010 levels, threatening many employees’ jobs. The bill threatens the health of the American people by putting more toxic mercury, arsenic, and lead into our air, exempting oil companies from complying with Clean Air Act standards for offshore drilling, and jeopardizing the drinking water of over a third of Americans.