June 27, 2012
The fiscal year 2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill does a good job providing adequate funding for important programs, while reducing funding for departments and agencies that have been known for rampant, wasteful and over-inflated spending, bringing their budgets down to more sustainable, reasonable levels.
The $28 billion provided in this bill addresses threats to our natural resources and wildlife, bolsters public safety, and nurtures economic growth and domestic energy production. Bipartisan priorities, such as programs dedicated to improving the lives of Native American populations, and forest fire fighting and prevention efforts, have been increased.
This bill cuts funding for programs and agencies that stifle economic growth rather than encourage it. For instance, we’ve reduced the EPA’s budget by 17% from last year – taking this portion of the bill down $3.2 billion since fiscal year 2010. We also prohibited funding for the implementation of numerous job-killing rules and policies. These cuts and restrictions represent the Committee’s concern that EPA’s unprecedented regulations are strangling American business and industry. And every cut made in this bill achieves substantial savings for the taxpayer at a time when our deficits continue to escalate.
Thank you to Chairman Simpson, Ranking Member Moran and the entire Subcommittee for their efforts on this legislation. The 16 budget hearings held this year represent a strong commitment to the careful stewardship of our limited tax dollars, and the strident oversight of federal agencies. You and the staff have crafted a good piece of legislation that I’m proud to support, and this Committee appreciates your hard work and dedication.
At this time, I’d like to recognize our great Ranking Member Mr. Dicks, who has served on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee for almost 36 years. When he retires at the end of this year, the Subcommittee and the Full Committee will be losing one of its hardest hitters and its smartest, most dedicated champions. We are deeply sorry to see you go, and I want to thank you for your years of services to this Committee, this Congress, and this great nation.
In closing, this bill wisely places a limit on big-government excesses and supports America’s rich natural heritage and economic drivers. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.