From Think Progress
In its “sprint to the finish,” the Bush administration is working tirelessly to enact or alter a wide array of federal regulations that would weaken government rules protecting consumers, workers, and the environment.
As Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, told the Wall Street Journal, “This administration will stop at nothing to jam through as many reckless proposals as they can before the clock runs out.”
The Wonk Room and ThinkProgress are keeping a close eye on Bush’s Backward Sprint to the Finish, and have compiled a document to keep tabs on both the proposed and already enacted changes. Here are some examples:
Cutting back Medicaid: New rules “narrowed the scope of services that can be provided to poor people under Medicaid’s outpatient hospital benefit.”
Allowing mining near the Grand Canyon: A proposed rule by the Bureau of Land Management would prevent Congress from ordering emergency withdrawal of federal land from mining claims. The House Natural Resources Committee “issued such a withdrawal order in June for about 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon.”
Allowing more emissions from power plants:: The Environmental Protection Agency is “finalizing new air-quality rules that would make it easier to build coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other major polluters near national parks and wilderness areas” by weakening the Clean Air Act.
A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job discrimination laws.
Hillary and Patty Murphy Are trying to Stop Bush's BullShit
The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The counsel, Reed L. Russell, and two Democratic members of the commission, Stuart J. Ishimaru and Christine M. Griffin, also said that the rule was unnecessary for the protection of employees and potentially confusing to employers. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 already prohibits employment discrimination based on religion, Mr. Russell said, and the courts have defined “religion” broadly to include “moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong, which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views.”