Members of Congress Target OSHA’s Silica Dust Rule in Funding Battle

You’ve long-read about it, and now it’s finally happened: Members of Congress are trying to halt OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica rule by denying funds to implement the final rule or any similar rule. The silica rule is scheduled to take effect later this year.

An amendment has been offered to a bundle of funding measures for the 2018 Federal Fiscal Year, which begins October 1, 2017. While not all of these amendments may be voted on, it’s definitely possible that one of them will be. As a result, you’re strongly encouraged to send letters to your​ Members of Congress via AIHA’s Federal Government Relations Center, urging your Representative and Senators to help protect OSHA’s silica dust rule by opposing any attempts to halt its implementation. After sending letters, you can take your advocacy to the next level by setting up in-person meetings with your Members of Congress (most Members of Congress return to their home States for meetings every Friday through Monday). There is no form of government relations more effective than in-person meetings. You can find the contact information for your Members of Congress here. If you’re interested in getting more directly involved in organized government relations at AIHA, then you’re encouraged to join AIHA’s Government Relations Beta Group.​

In addition to funding the government, Members of Congress are returning to the Capitol this month with a frighteningly large list of actions that must be acted upon in mere weeks. 

The list includes:
  • ​Raising the debt ceiling (needed by late September/early October)
  • Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (needed by October 1)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (needs to be reapproved by October 1)
  • Reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (by October 1)
  • Emergency spending bill for Hurricane Harvey cleanup and recovery (sometime after September)
Associated with each of these measures is a heap of politics, making action on any one of them difficult. There is talk of bundling one or more of these together, but raising the stakes doesn’t necessarily equate with a greater certainty of passage.

Many decisions will be made in the coming days; we’ll keep an eye on things for you here in Washington, and will send you an Action Alert when your voice is needed most.