ICYMI: The Case for Compromise

In case you missed it, Joe Nocera’s column in The New York Times today praises the bipartisan effort led by Senator Tom Udall to overhaul the nation’s broken chemical safety law. Udall’s comprehensive bill — the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act — has the support of 60 senators from 38 states and is ready for a vote on the Senate floor immediately.

“You see, the bill — officially the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act — is the result of (shudder!) compromise. Those compromises were originally hammered out by Lautenberg, a liberal Democratic senator, and David Vitter, a right-wing Republican senator allied with the chemical industry. The two men co-sponsored a bill in May 2013. Then Lautenberg died,” Nocera wrote.

“Senator Tom Udall, another Democrat, picked up where Lautenberg left off, and over the next two-plus years, he and Vitter continued to improve the bill while also making compromises to gain additional Senate support. In just the last week, the bipartisan bill, which the Senate is expected to vote on soon, has gained enough co-sponsors to be filibuster-proof.” Udall worked with environmental groups, industry stakeholders, health professionals, parent groups, other affected communities and a bipartisan group of lawmakers to craft and improve the legislation.

“In this era of polarized politics, it is something of a miracle: ‘an example of good, old-fashioned legislating,’ Udall told me.”

Read the full column HERE