Scheduling Matters — Chemicals, Book Appearances

The headlong, ambitious, aggressive, helter-skelter, very fast rush to complete the House health care legislation has superseded the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s consideration of other matters.

Thursday’s subcommittee hearing on H.R. 2868, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act, and the Drinking Water System Security Act of 2009, has been postponed. Independently, the House and Senate are acting for a one-year extension of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, which is the preferable course of action to begin with.

We note the bill has also been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration of the “citizen lawsuit” provision, language that would that would encourage environmental activists to block chemical plants from operating through litigation. The term is “regulation through litigation.”

As we’ve previously noted, Energy and Commerce also punted on the planned committee hearing on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act until September, the hearing Chairman Henry Waxman promised recently on The Diane Rehm Show. History suggests something will come up in September, too.

Meanwhile, Chairman Waxman may cancel his scheduled book reading this evening at the Historic Sixth and I Street Synagogue. As the event sponsor, Politics & Prose, reports:

At this moment, Chairman Waxman and his Energy and Commerce Committee are working feverishly to write the Health Bill. It is not clear that the committee will be finished voting by 7 pm on Wednesday.

Feverish. That’s a good adjective too.

UPDATE: (11:40 a.m.): Waxman back on for his book reading. As we’ve suggested before, an event sponsored by a bookstore would seem a good opportunity to ask why the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has led to the wholesale destruction of pre-1985 children’s books.

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