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Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee


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, Jun 10, 2009 -

Fiscal Year 2010 Interior Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior today approved the Fiscal Year 2010 legislation to fund the various programs and agencies within the Department of the Interior. The cost of the legislation totals $32.3 billion, which is $4.7 billion – or 17% - above last year’s level.
 
Of the many large funding increases included in the legislation, the bill provides a $3 billion - or 38% - increase over last year’s level for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When combined with funding approved earlier this year in the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus and the “stimulus” bill, the EPA will receive more than $25 billion in a single calendar year -  equal to more than three-fourths the entire Interior Appropriations bill. 
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis indicated his opposition to providing these large funding escalations while our nation’s economic crisis has already led to large and damaging budget deficits.
 
“Providing a 17% overall increase in funding – and an astonishing 38% increase for the EPA - when our country is experiencing the worst economic situation in decades is not a responsible way to govern. We must hold the line on spending and make budget choices that are sustainable and that do not rely on continued deficits and borrowing,” Lewis said.
 
“That is why Republicans on the Appropriations Committee have proposed to hold overall Interior spending to the rate of inflation. If we don’t start acting to trim our budgets now, we will no doubt pay for the consequences – with interest – in the future,” Lewis continued.
 
Interior Subcommittee Ranking Republican Mike Simpson also expressed concern with the overall level of spending, and indicated a need for strong oversight and planning to ensure that the money provided is spent efficiently and appropriately.
 
“We have an obligation to be sensible stewards of the money we spend,” Simpson said. “This bill is funding large increases in programs without having clearly defined goals or sufficient processes in place to measure the return on our investment.”

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