WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., introduced legislation Tuesday to strike seven special-interest provisions attached by Republicans to the homeland security bill before it was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Bush last year.
The provisions, some of which Republican leaders promised to revisit, include a controversial protection from legal liability for the makers of childhood vaccines, including those that contain a mercury-based preservative that many parents believe caused their children’s autism. Lieberman and then-Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., unsuccessfully offered an amendment during homeland security debate last November to strike these provisions.
“In the final stages of passing the bill, the Republican leadership inserted several special interest measures that had no place in this bill,” Lieberman said. “The method by and spirit in which these provisions found their way into the bill was utterly objectionable. By attaching them to what should have been a common cause, the Republican leadership all but admitted that the provisions could not withstand independent scrutiny. “These flaws are real. They are serious. And they are unnecessary. I hope this bill will be considered swiftly in order to right these wrongs.” Lieberman’s legislation would strike: