For Immediate Release

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Kelly Trout,, 202-222-0722
Nick Berning,, 202-222-0748

Friends of the Earth Lauds Members of Congress Opposing Draconian Cuts in Debt Deal

Agreement maintains giveaways to polluting corporations while undermining government’s ability to work for people and the planet

WASHINGTON - Today the Senate voted 74 to 26 to pass the Budget Control Act of 2011. The bill passed the House 269 to 161 last night and institutes roughly $1 trillion in initial spending cuts with no guaranteed revenue increases as the price for meeting our government’s obligations to pay its bills.

Friends of the Earth lauded members of Congress — including representatives in the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who voted against the deal because of their concern for the damage it is likely to inflict on the economy, on poor and middle class Americans and on our environment.

Friends of the Earth strongly opposed the deal as a dangerous step toward eviscerating our government’s ability to enforce landmark environmental laws and advance the common good and called on President Obama to instead use the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to prevent a default.

Friends of the Earth's president, Erich Pica, had the following response:

“We applaud senators and representatives who took courageous votes in defense of our social safety net and environment. Standing up to the president and leadership is never easy, and their actions demonstrate a deep commitment to doing what’s best for the future of our country.

“The draconian cuts passed are likely to mean more people out of work, more people drinking poisoned water and breathing polluted air, and a slower transition to a clean energy economy. It makes no sense to cut programs for the poor while we continue giveaways to oil and gas corporations and other polluters. This was an unacceptable bill and we thank members of Congress who stood up for families and the environment in voting against it.”


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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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