As a Catholic, I’ve often disagreed with the institutional church on many issues. But as thousands of other Catholics, I have grown fond of the present Pope. Pope Francis’ outreach to the poor and marginalized, his disdain for pomp, and his tolerant tone all have made him a much beloved world figure. Read More
September 24th, 2015
August 4th, 2015
I am used to the House of Representatives passing unwise bills that would make it difficult for agencies to use science to protect the environment and public health and safety. I understand that wealthy special interests are spending millions of dollars to advance their anti-regulatory agenda in Washington. But even I was shocked that a terrible legislative proposal could grow even worse. But that’s what happened in the House on July 28. Read More
June 29th, 2015
I try hard not to be cynical about Congress. I believe that in the House and Senate, many men and women of good will and their staffs work hard to advance policies that they believe will benefit the people they represent. Our elected representatives may disagree about what the best solutions are. But they are motivated by the desire to do good, not ill.
That sentiment is being tested as the House and Senate vote on a series of spending bills to pay for government agencies and other expenses in the coming fiscal year. Read More
June 3rd, 2015
Soon, members of the House of Representatives will cast a vote that could affect every American family for years to come. The vote is on Trade Promotion Authority, or fast-track, legislation that would give not only the current President but also a future president the power to negotiate complicated trade deals and then submit them to Congress for an up-or-down vote. The Senate approved fast-track in late May, after a spirited debate that raised many concerns about the wisdom of this approach. Read More
January 27th, 2015
Congress soon will be voting on whether to approve Trade Promotion Authority, or fast-track, a process that expedites approval of trade deals but at the expense of democratic discourse and public and congressional scrutiny and oversight.
January 9th, 2015
The House leadership has promised a new day for Congress. Less partisanship, more governing. But it’s hard to believe them when first out of the gate the House chooses to recycle one of its most divisive bills, and one which would greatly harm science-informed policymaking at federal agencies.
December 16th, 2014
October 31st, 2014
July 24th, 2014
On July 16, Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT), Tom Harkin (IA) and Robert Casey (PA) introduced S. 2615, the “Hide No Harm Act.” Their legislation would impose criminal penalties—fines and even imprisonment—on corporate executives if they knowingly failed to warn the public about life-threatening dangers in their products. Read More
July 7th, 2014
You can probably count on the fingers of one hand the issues on which there is bipartisan agreement in Congress. Fortunately, strengthening Freedom of Information (FOIA) is one of them. Read More