The full House on July 27 voted 218-189 to add language to EPAs FY2002 spending bill (H.R.2620) that would stop EPA from spending funds to delay the arsenic rule as promulgated in January or from proposing or finalizing a rule that would "increase the levels of arsenic in drinking water permitted under that regulation."
The amendment from Democratic Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.) passed with 19 Republicans joining 198 Democrats and one Independent. If also approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate, which is expected to consider its version of the bill (S.1216) next week, and sent to the White House, such language would throw the future of EPAs ongoing review into doubt. It could trigger a showdown with President Bush, who ordered the review of the Clinton-era regulation.
Also Friday, the House rejected an amendment from Rep. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., that would have reversed a provision that diverts $25 million for EPA enforcement activities to the states.