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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2016 Interior and Environment Bill
Legislation will fight job-crushing regulations, protect the nation’s natural resources, and promote safe and sustainable American energy

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Washington, June 16, 2015 -

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, on a vote of 30-21. 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 $30.17 billion in base funding, a decrease of $246 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and a reduction of $3 billion below the President’s request. Included is $452 million to fully fund “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) – which provides funds to local communities with federal land to help offset losses in property taxes – and $3.6 billion for the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to prevent and combat devastating wildfires.   

In addition, the legislation contains several policy provisions to stop job-crushing bureaucratic red tape and regulations at federal agencies – such as the EPA – that stymie growth, hurt businesses both large and small, and damage the U.S. economy.

“This bill supports important Department of Interior and environment programs that protect and promote our natural resources within a responsible, sustainable budget,” Chairman Hal Rogers said. “The bill also preserves the role of the federal government – making sure that the government is doing its job well, while ensuring that it is not harmful or intrusive into the lives of the American people or our economy.”

“This bill represents difficult decisions to allocate resources to important federal programs, while operating under a tight budget caused by the Administration’s unwillingness to address our national debt,” Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert said. “In addition, the bill takes meaningful steps to shield our economy and defend American jobs from the executive overreach of EPA regulators, provides significant funding for our national resources, and fulfills our commitment to the needs of Indian Country. And, as a Californian, I have seen firsthand how devastating earthquakes can be, so the bill prioritizes funding for the potentially-lifesaving Earthquake Early Warning System.”

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.

Reps. Visclosky –The amendment changes bill language requiring that all iron and steel used in 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.

Rep. Jenkins – The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to implement or administer updates to existing ozone regulations. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 31-20.

Rep. Cole – The amendment prohibits funding to implement, administer, or enforce a final rule titled "Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands." The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Valadao – The amendment adds report language relating to the Delta Smelt and directs the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a five-year status review of the species, as required by law. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

The bill was approved on a vote of 30-21.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394247

For the text of the bill, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-interior.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:

http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2016-interior.pdf

 

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