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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Bill

Legislation will fully fund efforts to fight wildfires, maintain public lands for the future, roll back harmful environmental regulations, and meet commitments to Native American communities

Washington, June 6, 2018

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on a vote of 25-20. 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 provides $35.25 billion, equal to the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. These funds are targeted to important programs that support and protect the nation’s natural resources, including $3.9 billion for the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to prevent and combat devastating wildfires. The legislation also contains several policy provisions to rein in harmful and unnecessary regulations at the EPA and other agencies.

“The bill ensures that funding is targeted to maintaining the health and safety of our public lands – including the protection from and the fighting of devastating wildfires – and will help protect vital national resources for generations to come,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said.

“The Interior Subcommittee has made every effort to balance a host of competing needs and provided the Interior Department, EPA and other agencies under our jurisdiction with the resources necessary to carry out their mission. Our bill funds a number of American priorities like our National Park Service, the Smithsonian, Native American programs, efforts to prevent and combat wildfires, and the development of an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast. Once again we provide important funding for EPA programs that clean our environment, but do not increase the size of the federal bureaucracy. I appreciate the input of all of our Subcommittee members,” Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert said.

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. Newhouse – The amendment prohibits funding to reintroduce grizzly bears into certain areas in the State of Washington. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Aderholt/Rep. Visclosky – The amendment ensures that existing “Buy America” standards at the EPA are maintained. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Cole – The amendment adds report language regarding EPA’s 2010 guidance issued under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to provide clarity to states and tribes on certain certifications. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Stewart – The amendment adds bill language allowing the Department of Interior to use sterilization in the management of wild horses and burros.  The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.  

Rep. Amodei – The amendment prohibits funding for the Interior Department to issue a final rule on the “Bi-State” district population of the greater Sage Grouse. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Herrera Beutler – The amendment prohibits funding for U.S. Fish and Wildlife to require certain additional land to be set-aside for conservation of the marbled murrelet. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Valadao – The amendment adds language exempting certain California water projects from additional judicial review, which causes unnecessary delays. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris – The amendment adds report language related to the E-15 education outreach program at the EPA. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment adds report language encouraging the EPA to review the backlog of applications related to biogas fuel pathways under the Renewable Fuels Program. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Amodei – The amendment prohibits funding to require the transfer of groundwater rights as a condition for approving certain permits. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 26-21.

Rep. Cole – The amendment adds bill language ensuring that trust and treaty obligations are met related to Alaska Native oil and gas revenue sharing. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment prohibits funding for the EPA to purchase fountain pens costing more than $50 each. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

For a summary of the bill, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=395297

For the text of the bill, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/interior_bill.pdf

For the bill report, please visit: https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/interior_report.pdf

 

 

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