Advocacy groups Legislation

Advocacy groups to Obama: Veto OSHA budget cuts

Barack Obama -- August 2013
Barack Obama

Washington – President Barack Obama should veto proposed funding legislation that would cut OSHA’s budget, 76 advocacy groups urged in an Aug. 5 letter.

“If these budget cuts are enacted, we will lose the worker safety and health improvements we’ve made over the years as well as the opportunity for new achievements, and instead bear more worker injuries and deaths and higher economic and social costs in the long run,” the letter states.

The Senate appropriations bill would cut OSHA’s budget by $28 million, and the House version would reduce the agency’s funding by nearly $18 million.

Further, the Senate version has a provision that would block funding to promulgate OSHA’s proposed silica rule unless additional research is conducted, and the House bill would defund the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. These “poison pill” riders put workers at further risk of death and injury, the groups claim in the letter.

Both bills have passed out of their respective appropriations committees and await a vote before the full chamber.

The advocacy groups that signed the letter include nonprofit watch dog Public Citizen; the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health; and other labor, public health, environmental and community organizations.