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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2015 Interior and Environment Bill
Legislation will rein in regulatory overreach, fund critical wildland firefighting efforts, invest in the nation’s natural resources, and cut funding for underperforming agencies

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Washington, Jul 15 -

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on a vote of 29-19. The legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.

In total, the bill includes $30.2 billion in base funding, an increase of $162 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and a reduction of $409 million below the President’s request. This includes a one-time payment of $442 million for “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) – which provides funds to local communities with large areas of federal land to help offset losses in property taxes – and $4.1 billion to prevent and combat devastating wildland fires. In addition, the legislation also includes policy provisions to stop unnecessary, job-killing regulations by federal agencies such as the EPA.

“This bill will ensure the proper management of the nation’s vast natural resources, invest in programs for the well-being of our local communities, and help prevent and fight the wildland fires that cause millions of dollars in damages every year, all while keeping a close eye on the spending of each and every tax dollar,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “In addition, this legislation contains important provisions to rein in the harmful regulatory overreach of federal bureaucracies that will unnecessarily cause job loss and that will weaken our recovering economy.”

Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert also commented on the bill.

“The Interior and Environment bill provides the agencies within its jurisdiction with the resources necessary to carry out their mission in times that are fiscally challenging,” said Chairman Calvert. “This bill also protects Americans from the onslaught of job-killing regulations coming from the EPA, and makes difficult decisions to carefully balance national priorities. I am pleased that our Subcommittee continues to place an emphasis on producing energy on federal lands, providing robust funding for our wildland fire accounts, and addressing a variety of health, education, and safety needs within Indian Country.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Calvert – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Wolf – The amendment adds bill language designating February 22, George Washington’s actual birthday, as a national holiday. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Rep. Graves – The amendment prohibits EPA from finalizing a rule to allow the Agency to collect fines and penalties via administratively garnishing wages. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment adds language to the report to urge the National Park Service to advance interpretive efforts on the start of the "westward expansion" through the Northwest Territory. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Reps. Aderholt/Visclosky –The amendment adds bill language requiring that all iron and steel used in drinking water infrastructure projects be sourced within the United States. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Amodei – The amendment adds report language clarifying the process for products to be designated as “made in America.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

For the text of the bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-113hr-fc-ap-fy2015-ap00-interior.pdf

For the bill report, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-113-hr-fy2015-interior.pdf

 

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