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Despite the repetitive “drain the swamp” rhetoric, too many Republicans in Congress continue to abuse the budget process by pushing ideological riders that benefit the biggest corporations at the expense of the public interest.

As congressional appropriations committees ramp up work on the  annual budget, legislation is often used to advance ideologically driven special interests and attack essential regulatory safeguards without public scrutiny. In recent years, these budget riders have included efforts to undermine or eliminate the already endangered Net Neutrality protections established in 2015.

Free Press Action has joined the Clean Budget Coalition alongside more than 170 public-interest groups to send a letter to Congress opposing the inclusion of ideological policy riders in appropriations bills. Right-wing and corporate-interest groups routinely use riders in appropriations bills to attack key public protections.

These measures, which are unrelated to and have no place in the budget process, threaten health care, environmental rules, workplace safety regulations, internet rights and consumer rights across the board, simply to benefit big corporations and serve these ideological goals. They hurt workers, families, and typically marginalized communities

And while hundreds of riders are snuck into appropriations bills by lobbyists and ideologues with little transparency or public input, these unpopular measures would not survive public scrutiny if they were proposed as standalone legislation — even in a Republican-dominated Congress.

In addition to threatening existing Net Neutrality protections, these poison-pill provisions hidden in budget bills attempt to gut rules keeping Wall Street abuses in check; undermine environmental protections safeguarding our air, land and water; threaten women’s healthcare rights; slash funding for education; and target regulations ensuring safe and fair workplaces as well as essential consumer protections.

The Clean Budget Coalition letter urges lawmakers to oppose policy riders that attack Net Neutrality, our economy, health, safety and environment. You can find the full letter here.

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