Washington, D.C. -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), reached out to Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, on the near unanimous passage in the House of Representatives this week of his toxic chemicals reform bill, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576).
Senator Boxer informed Congressman Shimkus that because of the clarity, simplicity, and overwhelming bipartisan support in the House for H.R. 2576, she would push for the Senate to take up the House bill with a few perfecting amendments. She pointed out that in contrast to the House legislation, five members of the EPW Committee opposed the Senate TSCA bill (S. 697) in Committee. Senator Boxer also told Congressman Shimkus that if S. 697 is taken up by the full Senate, she anticipates a long, drawn-out process and that she would object at every opportunity because it is convoluted and will lead straight to the court house door. Senator Boxer said she would work with Congressman Shimkus as the bill progresses to keep the focus on protecting the health and safety of the American people.
Senator Boxer noted that a number of states oppose the Senate bill and support the House legislation as a framework for a bicameral agreement. Her position is also aligned with views expressed by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, the largest public health coalition which includes 450 organizations such as the Breast Cancer Fund, and Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Just yesterday, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families said in a blog, "The simplest path, therefore, and the one that is optimal for public health and the environment would be to simply fix the House bill in [a] few targeted ways."