Skip to content

2015 Budget Riders

OUR POSITION: Congress should pass a clean spending bill with no riders.

Capitol hill

In October, Congress and the White House agreed to a framework for the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2016. This budget agreement set the overall government funding levels, but it is not the final appropriations bill. If a final omnibus appropriations bill does not pass before Dec. 22, the government may shut down.

Left out of the budget agreement were any decisions about policy riders. Policy riders are little more than sweetheart deals for big corporations and special favors for ideological extremists. Specifically, they would deny women access to the health care provider of their choice; block safeguards that protect our homes, pocketbooks and workplaces; lower standards that keep our food, air and water safe; and much more.

Ideological riders have no place in the appropriations process. They are unpopular and controversial with voters in both parties. And by sneaking them into must-pass budget legislation, lawmakers are trying to avoid a real debate and showing that Congress isn’t looking out for regular Americans.



Take Action

Twitter Hashtags: #CleanBudget  #NoRiders

Sign the Petition: Tell Congress to Pass a Clean Budget

Call Your Representative and Senators: Tell Your Members of Congress to Support a Clean Budget with No Riders

Tell Congress: Keep Anti-Environmental Riders Out of Budget and Spending Bills

Urge Congress to Protect the Dietary Guidelines from Industry Influence



Letters to Lawmakers

Clean Budget Coalition Letter

U.S. House of Representatives Letter

Agriculture Riders Letter

Campaign Finance Riders Letter

Civil Rights Riders Letter

Conservation Riders Letter

Dietary Guidelines Riders Letter

Environmental Riders Letter

Financial Policy Riders Letter

Housing Riders Letter

Immigration Riders Letter

Immigration/Reproductive Freedom Riders Letter

Labor Riders Letter

Lung Health Riders Letter

Regulatory Riders Letter

Women’s Health Riders Letter



Lists of Riders and Fact Sheets

Dietary Guidelines Riders
Center for Science in the Public Interest

Environmental Riders
League of Conservation Voters

Environmental Riders
Natural Resources Defense Council

Environmental Riders
The Wilderness Society

Financial Reform Riders
Americans for Financial Reform

Labor Riders

Lung Health Riders
American Lung Association



Coalition Op-Eds and Newspaper Editorials

Congress Should Reject Gutting Fair Housing Rule with Riders
The Hill: December 16, 2015
Joe Rich and Thomas Silverstein, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Letter from Concerned Westerners to the National Leadership
The Hill: December 15, 2015
Ashley Korenblat and Pamela D. Alfred

Protect Kids’ Health – Reject Dangerous Policy Riders
The Huffington Post: December 14, 2015
Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association

Unwanted Gifts from Congress Could Hurt Science, Health
The Hill: December 14, 2015
Ken Kimmell and Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mich. Reps Must Help Protect Kids’ Health
Lansing State Journal: December 14, 2015
Ken Fletcher, American Lung Association

Congress Should Stand Strong for Financial Reforms that Protect Montanans
Helena Independent Record: December 14, 2015 (syndicated)
Montana Sen. Tom Facey (SD-50)

Protect Our Lungs and Economy
The Virginia Pilot: December 13, 2015
Deborah Brown: American Lung Association

Colorado’s Congressional Delegation Must Help Protect Children’s Health
Grand Junction Sentinel: December 13, 2015
Tyler Svitak, American Lung Association

Paul Ryan Can Lead on a New Path
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: December 12, 2015
Henry Henderson, Natural Resources Defense Council

Enough Is Enough
The Hill: December 11, 2015
Dana Singiser, Planned Parenthood

Another Budget Deadline
The Baltimore Sun: December 10, 2015

Sen. Coons Is Right: Laws Should Not Be Passed in the Dark
Delaware Online: December 8, 2015
Darlene Battle, Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement & Rashmi Rangan, Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc.

Republicans Attempt to Weaken Consumer Financial Protections
Al Jazeera America: December 8, 2015
Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Goodwill Towards Wildlife Is Lacking in Congress
The Huffington Post: December 8, 2015
Jamie Clark, Defenders of Wildlife

How I’d Rein in Wall Street
The New York Times: December 7, 2015
Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State

A Gift From Congress, to Congress
The New York Times: December 4, 2015

Republicans Serving Up Endangered Species for the Holiday Season
The Hill: December 3, 2015
Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity

McConnell’s Campaign Finance Riders
The Hill: December 3, 2015
Daniel Weiner & Ivan Vandewalker, Brennan Center for Justice

The G.O.P.’s Worst Budget Riders
The New York Times: December 2, 2015

Tester Should Protect Montanans from Wall Street Schemes
Billings Gazette: December 1, 2015
Montana State Sen. Tom Facey (SD-50)

Don’t Let Wall Street Get Away With Dodd-Frank Reform Rollbacks November 30, 2015
Dennis Kelleher, Better Markets

Sacrificing the District to Keep the Federal Government Running
The Washington Post: November 29, 2015

The Risk in Rolling Back Wall Street Reform
Bloomberg: November 25, 2015
Jacob Lew, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury

Congress Seeks to Strip Protections from Gray Wolves and Other Endangered Species
The Huffington Post: November 24, 2015
Marjorie Mulhall, Earthjustice

An Opportunity for Sen. Warner to Protect Consumers
The Hill: November 23, 2015
Sandra Cook, Virginia Organizing

Congress: Fund Our Government Without Clogging Our Lungs
The Hill: November 23, 2015
Stephanie Maddin, Earthjustice

Let’s End the Dysfunction
North Dallas Gazette: November 22, 2015
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)

Must-Pass Spending Bill No Place for Controversial Riders
The Huffington Post: November 20, 2015
Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, People for the American Way

Don’t Let Congress Hurt Consumers on the Sly
Grand Forks Herald: November 19, 2015
North Dakota State Rep. Joshua Boschee (D-Fargo)

Congress Must Act to Reduce Dust Health Risk
The San Diego Tribune: November 18, 2015
Jessica Martinez, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health

A Showdown Over Policy Riders Could Still Trigger a Shutdown
The Huffington Post: November 16, 2015
Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters & Robert Weissman, Public Citizen

Budget Shenanigans Put Clean Water Rules in Jeopardy
The Huffington Post, November 12, 2015
Chris Espinosa, Earthjustice

The Hill: November 11, 2015
Marty Hayden, Earthjustice

Keep the Toxic Bitters Out of the Budget Cocktail
The Hill: November 4, 2015
Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen

Wall Street’s Sneak Attack
U.S. News & World Report: November 2, 2015
Jim Lardner, Americans for Financial Reform

Federal Budget Held Hostage
Philadelphia Inquirer: October 23, 2015
Rev. Robert Shine, People for the American Way

Shutdown Charade Hurts Science
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: October 23, 2015
Neal Lane & Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

Who Benefits from Fewer Protections for Wildlife?
The Roanoke Times: September 20, 2015
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife

Taking the Path to Shutdown
The Daily Herald: September 17, 2015

Budget ‘Rider’ Would Protect Secret Money in Elections
The Baltimore Sun: August 12, 2015
Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen

Inappropriate Appropriations
The Huffington Post: July 7, 2015
Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders of Wildlife



News Clips and Columnist Analysis

Banks Strike Out in Omnibus
The Hill: December 16, 2015

Congress’ Budget Deal Halts Political Disclosure Efforts
The Washington Post: December 16, 2015

How the Budget Deal Opens the Door Even Wider for Secret Money in Politics
Los Angeles Times: December 16, 2015

Mitch McConnell Loses Campaign Finance Budget Fight
The Huffington Post: December 16, 2015

Congress Ties Controversial Cybersecurity Bill To Key Spending Package
The Huffington Post: December 16, 2015

What’s Inside Congress’s Huge New Spending Bill?
The Atlantic: December 16, 2015

Omnibus Edition: Dems Block Riders
Politico: December 16, 2015

The House GOP’s Under-the-Radar Oil Coup: The Dangerous Domestic Bailout That They’re Almost Certain to Win
Salon: December 15, 2015

Rider Fight Awaits Spending Bill’s Release
The Hill: December 14, 2015

Congress Races Toward Holiday Under Pressure to Deliver Spending Bill
The New York Times: December 14, 2015

House Averts Government Shutdown — For 5 Days
The Huffington Post: December 11, 2015

Congress Gives Itself a 5-Day Extension to Solve This Whole Budget Thing
New York Magazine: December 11, 2015

Tech Companies Urge Congress to Drop Fight Against Net Neutrality Rules
Ars Technica: December 11, 2015

Proposed House and Senate Bills Would Roll Back Worker Protections
In These Times: December 10, 2015

Pro-Logging “Rider” Bill Would Allow Clear-Cutting in US National Forests
Truthout: December 10, 2015

Factbox: Host of ‘Riders’ Piggyback on U.S. Congress Spending Bill
Reuters: December 10, 2015

Senate Extends Deadline Again to Prevent Government Shutdown
The Huffington Post: December 10, 2015

Are We Headed Toward Another Government Shutdown?
USA Today: December 9, 2015

Congress Seeks to Extend Shutdown Deadline into Next Week
CNN: December 9, 2015

House Republicans Introduce 5-Day CR as Negotiations Continue
Roll Call: December 9, 2015

Mikulski: ‘Poison Pill’ Riders, Taxes Drag Down Omnibus Talks
Roll Call: December 8, 2015

White House Blasts GOP Effort to Slow Investor Rule in Omnibus
The Hill: December 8, 2015

Pelosi, Republicans See Spending Talks Stall as Deadline Looms
The Hill: December 8, 2015

There’s a Long List of Issues Standing Between Congress and a Funded Government
DailyKos: December 8, 2015

GOP Seeks Curbs in Obama Environmental Agenda in Budget Bill
Associated Press: December 7, 2015

White House Warns Funding Delay Would Hurt National Security
The Hill: December 7, 2015

Top House Republicans Admit Congress May Need Short-Term Bill to Avoid Shutdown
CNN: December 7, 2015

Don’t Forget, There’s Another Government Shutdown Scheduled for Friday
Vanity Fair: December 7, 2015

Pressure Mounts for a Year-End Spending Deal
The Washington Post: December 7, 2015

Talks Stall as Shutdown Deadline Nears
Politico: December 7, 2015

Environmental, Other Riders Threatening Omnibus Talks
Bloomberg BNA: December 4, 2015

Congress Is About to Gut a Depression-Era Law to Help Wall Street
The Huffington Post: December 4, 2015

Pelosi Calls GOP Budget Plan ‘Tea Party Wish List’
Politico: December 3, 2015

Democrats Oppose New Effort to Loosen Campaign Finance Rules
The Huffington Post: December 3, 2015

Dem Raises Warning Over TV Ownership Rider Sneaking Into Spending Bill
The Hill: December 3, 2015

GOP, Dems Battle Over Riders as Deadline Nears
The Hill: December 2, 2015

White House: GOP Is Threatening Government Shutdown
The Hill: December 2, 2015

House Democrats Reject Republican Spending Bill Offer
The Huffington Post: December 2, 2015

House Democrats Lean Toward Rejecting GOP Omnibus Offer
Roll Call: December 2, 2015

House Dems Reject First GOP Government-Funding Bill
Politico: December 2, 2015

Congress Reconvenes to Nail Down Budget, But Obstacles Arise
Boston Globe: December 1, 2015

The GOP’s Insidious Christmas List: How Congressional Republicans Are Planning to Screw the Country This Holiday Season
Salon: December 1, 2015

Syrian Refugees Bill Could Be Inserted in Omnibus
The Hill: December 1, 2015

Provision Killing Net Neutrality Threatens Must-Pass Spending Bill
The Huffington Post: December 1, 2015

As a Deadline Looms, Paul Ryan Finds Himself in a Boehner-Like Spot
The New York Times: November 30, 2015

Congress Reconvenes to Nail Down a Budget Before Deadline
The New York Times: November 30, 2015

Congress Has a List of Deadlines, Is Checking It Twice
Roll Call: November 30, 2015

The Refugee Distraction
Slate: November 30, 2015

McCarthy Predicts No Shutdown Over Planned Parenthood
The Hill: November 30, 2015

Congress Faces Raft of Issues in Spending Deadline to Avoid Shutdown
USA Today: November 29, 2015

$1.1 Trillion Federal Budget Laden with Riders
Associated Press: November 28, 2015

GOP Rider Would Boost Party Spending
Politico: November 25, 2015

Lobbyists, in Strategy Session, Conclude That Refugee Crisis “Helps Us” Defeat Regulations
The Intercept: November 24, 2015

Syria Refugee Fight Emerges as Government Shutdown Threat
The Hill: November 23, 2015

America’s Leaders are Hurting the Nation’s Image
The Washington Post: November 22, 2015

The Five Things That Could Still Force a Government Shutdown
The Washington Post: November 20, 2015

Averting a Shutdown
Politico: November 20, 2015

House Democrats Renew Call for ‘Clean’ Omnibus
Morning Consult: November 19, 2015

Rider Fights Heat Up as Congress Grapples with Highway Bill
The Hill: November 18, 2015

Ryan Looks to Detangle Refugee Fears from Omnibus
E&E Publishing: November 18, 2015

The Hill: November 17, 2015

The GOP’s Devious Wall Street Welfare Plan: Why the Future of the Economy Hangs in the Balance
Salon: November 17, 2015

House Speaker Paul Ryan Warns of Budget, Guantanamo Confrontations with White House
The Wall Street Journal: November 17, 2015

Brinkmanship Over ‘Riders’ Hangs Over Omnibus Talks
E&E Publishing: November 16, 2015

Environmental Riders on Omnibus Coming Into Focus
Bloomberg BNA: November 13, 2015

Senate Sets Up Path Forward on Spending
The Washington Post: November 10, 2015

The Budget Battle Isn’t Over. It’s Just Beginning.
The Washington Post: November 5, 2015

GOP Readying for End-of-Year Spending Fights
Politico: November 5, 2015

Paul Ryan’s Plan for a Budget: Let Every Republican Decide
The Huffington Post: November 5, 2015

House Republicans Eye Targets Beyond Planned Parenthood
The Wall Street Journal: November 5, 2015

Congress Faces Hurdles: Hello Policy Fights on Spending Bill, Bye Budget Goodwill
The Associated Press: November 4, 2015

After Bipartisan Budget Deal, Congress Again Talking Shutdown
The Hill: November 4, 2015

Now the Hard Part: Resolve Policy Fights on Spending Bill, Avoid Holiday Season Shutdown
The Associated Press: November 3, 2015

Budget Deal Offers Way to Sneak Through Financial Changes
USA Today: November 3, 2015

The Government Shutdown Threat Has NOT Been Defused. And That Poses a Big Test for Paul Ryan.
The Washington Post: October 30, 2015

Reid: Democrats Would Stop a Rider-Riddled Omnibus
Roll Call: October 30, 2015

The Battle of the Budget Isn’t Over
The American Prospect: October 29, 2015

Democrats United Against Omnibus Riders — Reid
E&E Publishing: October 28, 2015

White House Says Looks Forward to Passing Budget ‘Without Ideological Riders’
Reuters: October 28, 2015

Get Your Ideology Out of Federal Budget, 178 Groups Say to Congress
Common Dreams: September 10, 2015



Coalition Releases and Statements

Congress Shouldn’t Fill This Prescription: Spending Bill Policy Riders Are Poison Pills
Clean Budget Coalition: December 11, 2015

Senate Democrats Warn Against Anti-Environmental Riders in Omnibus, Secure Votes to Sustain Presidential Veto
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.): December 3, 2015

Lawmakers Should Reject Ryan’s Poison Pill Riders
Public Citizen: December 2, 2015

Budget Fights Threaten the Most Vulnerable Millennial Families
Center for American Progress: November 30, 2015

Clean Budget Coalition Applauds House Members Who Have Joined Together in Opposing Policy Riders
Clean Budget Coalition: November 19, 2015

Members of the House Democratic Caucus Join Public Interest Groups to Call on House Leadership to Bring a Clean Spending Bill to the Floor
U.S. House Democratic Caucus: November 19, 2015

Media Alert — It’s Not Over Yet: Ideological Policy Riders Could Still Derail the Budget
Public Citizen: October 30, 2015

Schumer, Stabenow, Progressive Leaders Tell Congress to Pass a Clean Budget With No Ideological Riders That Fully Funds Middle-Class Priorities
Clean Budget Coalition: October 20, 2015

Congressman Grijalva Leads 91 Members of Congress in Telling Administration to “Veto Extinction”
Defenders of Wildlife: September 28, 2015

178 Groups Call on President and Congress to Oppose Spending Bills With Policy Riders
Clean Budget Coalition: September 10, 2015

President Obama Should Veto Funding Cuts That Would Harm American Workers
Public Citizen: August 5, 2015

House Republicans Pull Interior/EPA Appropriations Legislation
Sierra Club: July 9, 2015

Congress Aiming to Cut Conservation and Harm Wildlands
The Wilderness Society: July 1, 2015

Statement on Department of Interior and EPA Appropriations Markup
Sierra Club: June 18, 2015

LCV Statement FY16 Senate Interior Appropriations Bill Mark Up
League of Conservation Voters: June 18, 2015

Senate Interior Appropriations Bill is Another Attack on the Nation’s Wildlife and Public Lands Heritage
Defenders of Wildlife: June 18, 2015

House Interior Appropriations Bill is Riddled with Harmful Anti-Environmental Riders
Defenders of Wildlife: June 16, 2015

LCV Statement on Congressional Committee Mark-Ups of the Interior-EPA Appropriations Bill
League of Conservation Voters: June 15, 2015



Letters to the Editor

Gamesmanship by Republicans Threatens Clean Water Rule
Chicago-Sun Times: December 11, 2015

Where Smoking Persists
The New York Times: November 30, 2015

Congress Should Stop Playing Games with Budget, EPA
Arlington Sun Gazette: November 18, 2015

Clean Power Plan: Reject Attempts to Block New Rules
The Missoulian: November 17, 2015