House Democrats pull key PFAS provisions from defense bill

But a congressional aide said the move could imperil the bill’s chances in the House, where 68 members said in October that they would vote against the defense bill if it did not include strong PFAS provisions.

“How do House Democrats take a Senate provision and make it worse, not better, when this is an issue that is in pretty much every single member of Congress’ newspaper every single day?” the aide said.

The aide said the conference report is in the final stages of completion to reconcile the House- and Senate-passed bills.

A spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats confirmed that efforts to craft compromise language on PFAS had failed.

“We have not been able to reach a deal on cleanup of sites contaminated with PFAS, or on a protective drinking water standard, because Senate Republicans have refused to negotiate,” the spokesperson said. “They are totally unwilling to consider any provisions that depart from their original text, and have rejected multiple good faith efforts on our end to reach a compromise, despite that being the entire purpose of a conference. We will not roll over and simply accept – let alone support – PFAS provisions that utterly fail to clean-up contaminated sites, protect Americans’ drinking water or our nation’s most vulnerable populations.”

Pallone had initially been reluctant to include PFAS regulations in the defense bill when it was on the House floor this summer. His committee last month marked up a PFAS package that was broader than the provisions included in either the House or Senate’s defense bills.

A spokesperson for Smith said she could not comment on “internal conference negotiations.”

Connor O’Brien contributed to this report.