House Buries Super Fund Bill
Partisan bickering entombs exempts for small businesses.
Superfund liability relief for small businesses, an issue that's been simmering on the back burner, was thrust forward in the House during the waning days of the fall session. But political tensions boiled over. Although the vote was 253 to 161 for H.R. 5175, the bill was defeated because it failed to get the two-thirds majority required by the parliamentary procedure under which the bill was brought up in September.
The notion of exempting small businesses from Superfund liability had been included in practically every major Superfund bill proposed during the last Congress, including the one that passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in August 1999. H.R. 5175 was similar in many ways to those amendments, and it also had bipartisan support: 14 Democratic and 20 GOP co-sponsors.
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