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E-M:/ URGENT: Call Democratic Reps. to urge Clinton veto!



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Enviro-Mich message from "Liz Godfrey" <lizgodfrey@prodigy.net>
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URGENT: Letter to the President from House and Senate Democrats to veto
anti-environmental riders needs signers by Friday!

House Democratic leaders are circulating a letter to President Clinton
asking him to veto any legislation that contains anti-environmental riders.
This is an effort to make sure that bills like Interior Appropriations don't
make it through with the 21 anti-environmental riders that it currently has.
A similar letter is circulating among Senate Democrats.

Calls should be made to Senator Levin and Representatives Stupak, Barcia,
Stabenow, Kildee, Levin, Rivers, Conyers, Kilpatrick, and Dingell.
Representative Bonior has been leading the way on coordinating the letter.
Offices should contact Representative Vento's office to sign on to the
letter to Clinton.  (Following is more information and the text of the
letter.)

If you have any questions or want a full list of the riders still attached
to the Senate Interior Appropriations bill, please feel free to contact me.
Congress is definitely hearing our opposition to these riders.  Keep up the
good work!

Liz Godfrey
GREEN- the GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network
Midwest Federal Organizer
(608) 294-1338


ACTION ALERT!!

LETTER TO PRESIDENT
FROM HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS

MR. PRESIDENT:
VETO THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL
IF ALL THE ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL RIDERS
ARE NOT REMOVED!

October 12, 1999

Folks,

Once again, some members of Congress are subverting our nation's
environmental laws by attaching a wide variety of riders to the various
appropriations bills. Sadly, this has become business as usual for a
Congress unable to do anything constructive to protect our environment
and address the ongoing species extinction crisis. Thanks to your
vigilance, hard work, and many calls over the last few years, Congress
has had an increasingly difficult time getting away with these back
door attacks on wildlife and wildlands. They are not about to give up,
however, and this latest round of anti-environmental riders, many of
which are on this year's Interior Appropriations bill, requires that we
show equal determination in demanding their removal. Many members of
Congress realize how wrong these riders are and want to do something to
put a stop to this abuse of the democratic process. Letters to the
President are being circulated in both the Senate and House offering
support for the President in taking a strong stand against these anti-
environmental riders. Our message is simple and needs to be delivered
loud and clear: if ALL the anti-environmental riders are not removed
the President must veto these appropriations bills.

Thanks,

Roger Featherstone
GREEN Director

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GREEN is a project of Defenders of Wildlife designed to serve
grassroots wildlife and wildlands advocates.  GREEN policy positions do
not necessarily represent those of Defenders of Wildlife.
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1)URGE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO SIGN ON TO THE PRESIDENTIAL LETTER! Call
your Democratic Representative (1-202-224-3121) and urge them to sign
on to the letter which Rep. Bruce Vento (D-MN)is circulating among
House Democrats (the contact in his office is Lew Crenshaw 202-225-
7916. So far Reps. Gephardt, Bonior, Vento, Miller (CA), Waxman,
Pallone, Inslee and Maloney have already signed on to it.  House
minority leader, Rep. Gephardt would like to have this letter wrapped
up by close of business on Friday, October 15, 1999 so that it could be
delivered Monday, October 18, 1999. The letter recommends a
presidential veto of the Interior Appropriations bill if the riders are
not removed. Make sure your Representative understands that it is
crucial for the House Democrats to stick together, support the
President and demand that all the anti-environmental riders be stripped
from the Interior Appropriations bill.

2)DEMAND THAT THE PRESIDENT VETO ANY BILL THAT CONTAINS ANY OF THESE
ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL RIDERS. Call the White House Chief of Staff John
Podesta (1-202-456-6798) and urge the President to take a strong stand
against all anti-environmental riders.  It is now up to the President
to use his executive authority to protect our environmental laws.  The
President cannot let some members of Congress get away with using these
riders to overturn our laws and the courts.  He must make it absolutely
clear to the Senate and House conferees that if any of these riders
remain in the final bill it WILL BE VETOED.

3. CALL THE HOUSE/SENATE CONFEREES AND URGE THEM TO STRIP ALL ANTI-
ENVIRONMENTAL RIDERS FROM THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL.
(1-202-224-3121) We must rachet up the pressure on the conferees to
make sure that our message gets through.  They must feel the heat and
know that the grassroots environmental community is watching very
carefully. Let them know that the appropriations process is simply not
the place to pass legislation, especially these sneaky, back-door
attacks on the environment. Let them know that it is up to them to
rectify the completely inappropriate and reprehensible behavior of
their colleagues. Make sure they understand that you hold them
responsible and accountable if the President is forced to veto this
bill because anti-environmental riders remain in the conference report.


BACKGROUND AND RESOURCES:

Below is the text of the letter being circulated to Democratic
Representatives by Rep. Vento urging the President to veto the Interior
appropriations bill if the anti-environmental riders are not stripped
from the bill. Preceding the letter to the President is a dear
colleague letter to all members of the House Democratic Caucus.


October 7, 1999

Dear Democratic Colleague:

Republicans are continuing their backdoor assault on our environmental
protections.  They have once again inserted numerous anti-environmental
riders in this year's funding bills.  These riders represent real
threats to our environment and our public health.  The Republican
leadership is deliberately abusing legislative rules in order to avoid
committee review and floor debate about the merits of these riders
completely subverting the legislative process.  We believe the public
interest would be best served if this pattern of legislating was
stopped.

It is our understanding the Administration has already identified many
riders that would be grounds for a veto.  We are asking that House
Democrats join us in signing a letter to the President, supporting his
commitment to veto appropriations bills containing anti-environmental
riders.

Our environment is a quality of life issue about which families in our
communities care deeply.  The Republicans continue to underestimate the
saliency of environmental issues.  Rather, they continue to subvert the
established rules of the House in order to advance the agenda of their
special interest friends.  We have an opportunity to distinguish
ourselves from our Republican Colleagues as defenders of our
environment   one that we ought to seize.

As our funding battles proceed and we work toward establishing bright
lines between ourselves and our colleagues, we are asking you to join
us in our effort to draw attention to Republican attacks on
environmental protections.  Our letter to the President is on the
reverse side of this letter.  Our effort has the strong support of the
major environmental organizations.  If you would like to join us in
cosigning our letter, please contact Lew Crenshaw with Rep. Vento at 5-
7916.

     Sincerely,

     Richard A. Gephardt,     David E. Bonior,    Bruce F. Vento

     George Miller            Henry A. Waxman     Frank Pallone, Jr.

              Jay Inslee               Carolyn Maloney

House/Senate Conferees:
House Appropriations Committee: C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) chair, David
Obey (D-WI) ranking member.
House Interior Appropriations subcommittee: Ralph Regula (R-OH) chair;
Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Joe Skeen (R-NM), Charles Taylor (R-NC), George
Nethercutt (R-WA), Zach Wamp (R-R-TN), Jack Kingston (R-GA), and John
Peterson (R-PA).
Norman Dicks (D-WA) ranking member; John Murtha (D-PA), James Moran (D-
VA), Robert Cramer (D-AL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY).
Senate Appropriations Committee: Ted Stevens (R-AK) chair, Robert C.
Byrd (D-WV) ranking member.
Senate Interior Appropriations subcommittee: Slade Gorton (R-WA) chair;
Thad Cochran (R-MS), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Conrad Burns (R-MT), Robert
Bennett (R-UT), Judd Gregg (R-NH) Ben Campbell (R-CO).
Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ernest Hollings (D-SC), Harry Reid (D-NV), Byron
Dorgan (D-ND), Herbert Kohl (D-Wi), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

ACTION STRATEGY: Although the House version of the Interior
Appropriations bill contains some riders, most of the worst anti-
environmental riders were attached to the Senate version of the bill.
The House has already passed a non-binding motion to instruct urging
that the riders be removed.  This letter to the president is an
important opportunity to reinforce House Democrat's resolve and let
them go on record calling for elimination of all the riders. It is
crucial that as many Democratic Representatives as possible sign on to
this letter, since Republicans won't sign on to a letter to the
President calling for a veto of their own bill. House minority leader
Gephardt's office wants 159 signatures, enough to sustain a veto by
Friday October 15, 1999. The President is more likely to take a strong
stand against these riders if he knows that he has strong support in
Congress.

The House/Senate Conference began on Tuesday, October 12, and could be
completed very soon. There is no time for delay.




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