Education Conference Committee Kills School Pesticide Amendment
Washington, DC, November 30, 2001 - The Education Conference Committee voted down the School Environment Protection Act (SEPA) today after a heated debate between the bill's prime sponsor Senator Torricelli (D-NJ), conferee supporter Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), and an opponent and member of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). The action by the Education Conference Committee today represented the unraveling of an historic agreement between environmentalists and the chemical industry back in May. Environmentalists and Senator Torricelli charge that the pesticide industry reneged on the agreement it has signed off on and supported before a unanimous consent Senate vote in June. Throughout Conference deliberations a coalition of environmental, public health, parent and teacher organizations, spearheaded by Beyond Pesticides, and the National Pest Management Association have actively supported the legislation.
"The Education Committee's action today is shortsighted and unfortunate. Children, teachers and school staff deserve the basic health and safety protections that this right-to-know and pest management measure would provide," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, a Washington-based public interest group.
The vote in committee
was close with all Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator voting
in favor, and all House Republicans (with the exception of one abstention)
voting no and all House Democrats voting yes. "We applaud SEPA's
champion, Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ), Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ),
Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and those members of the committee that voted in
favor of SEPA and urge those who voted against to reconsider their position
when this bill comes before Congress in the future," said Mr. Feldman.
The vote in conference follows:
Senators Voting Yes (14): Kennedy (D-MA), Dodd (D-CT), Harkin (D-IA), Mikulski (D-MD), Jeffords (I-VT), Bingaman (D-NM), Wellstone (D-MN), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Edwards (D-NC), Clinton (D-NY), Lieberman (D-CT), Bayh (D-IN), DeWine (R-OH)
Senators Voting No (11): Gregg (R-NH), Frist (R-TN), Enzi (R-WY), Hutchinson (R-AR), Warner (R-VA), Bond (R-MO), Roberts (R-KS), Collins (R-ME), Sessions (R-AL), Allard (R-CO), Ensign (R-NV)
Reps Voting Yes (6): Miller (D-7th CA), Kildee (D-9th MI), Owens (D-11th NY), Mink (D-2nd HI), Andrews (D-1st NJ), Roemer (D-3rd IN)
Reps Voting No (7): Boehner (R-8th OH), Petri (R-6th WI), McKeon (R-25th CA), Castle (R-At large DE), Graham (R-3rd SC), Hilleary (R-4th TN), Isakson (R-6th GA)
Rep Abstention: Roukema (R-5th)