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house Bill H.R. 2822

Funding the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and Other Agencies for FY 2016

Argument in favor

This bill authorizes sensible funding levels for all the covered agencies, and allows the EPA to focus on enforcing existing regulations rather than creating new job-killing regulations.

Tom's Opinion
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06/25/2015
Actually, I would say cut their budget to zero. If we can't do that, keep it to minimum.
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jackson's Opinion
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06/24/2015
The EPA has its teeth sunk into everything. Businesses of all sizes are crippled by its regulations and expanding its budget will be more hurtful than helpful. It's ironic that we allow these regulations to pass in the name of clean air while American businesses are so pinned down that they are suffocating in the bureaucratic smog.
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06/27/2015
In my opinion it is still too much for the EPA, they have been political hit men for the administration killing our economy with their junk science agenda. Their budgets have been bloated under this and previous administrations with not enough oversight by the legislative branch who should be the ONLY branch to make laws and rules that effect us all by penalty. Think about what authority the EPA has and rules and fines they can impose all by non-elected branch of govt!
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Argument opposed

Cutting the EPA’s budget is an overtly political gesture that will only reduce its ability to create and enforce new regulations that otherwise would have improved air and water quality.

John's Opinion
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06/23/2015
The EPA is one of the few regulatory agencies that still has teeth and still looks out for the American people. With climate change being such an emergency, their funding should be increased, not decreased.
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joshualogancook's Opinion
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06/26/2015
The EPA needs more teeth, more financing, and more scientific data. Hamstringing this department has negative implications for the land on which we live. We must be stewards of this great nation. Not merely exploiting it for profit.
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BananaNeil's Opinion
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06/26/2015
This bill cuts way too much money from the EPA. Come on guys, the environment is important.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedJune 18th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 2822?

This bill would authorize appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Interior, among other agencies for fiscal year 2016. It authorizes a total of $30.17 billion in funding — a reduction of $246 million from the previous fiscal year, and $3 billion below the President’s budget request.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA would receive $7.4 billion in funding for fiscal year 2016, $718 million less (or 9 percent less) than what it received in the previous fiscal year. Regulatory programs would be cut by $69 million from fiscal year 2015, and funded $206 million below the President’s budget request. The EPA’s staffing levels would be limited to 15,000 workers, the agency’s lowest level since 1989.

This spending measure would also remove the EPA's power to  implementing certain new regulations like:

  • Restrictions on greenhouse gas from new and existing power plants;

  • Changes to the definition of “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act, or “fill material”;

  • Duplicative financial assurance requirements;

  • Guidelines on the lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle.


Bureau of Land Management 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would get $1.1 billion in funding — up $30 million from the prior year. Funding that was set aside for sage grouse conservation would grow from $15 million to $45 million. Proposals to increase oil and gas inspection fees, and raise grazing fees assessed on ranchers using federal land would be blocked.


National Parks & Forests

The National Park Service (NPS) would be funded at $2.7 billion — an increase of $53 million from fiscal year 2015. Specifically, an extra $52 million of funding for park operations and maintenance would go to reducing the maintenance backlog at the NPS.

The U.S. Forest Service is would be funded with $5 billion — a $13 million cut from the prior year. More than half of that funding would go to wild land fire prevention and suppression. The Forest Service and BLM would be prohibited from issuing new closures of public lands to hunting and recreational shooting, except in cases of public safety.

At $1.4 billion for fiscal year 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) would lose $8 million in funding from the previous year. Funding would be prioritized for programs that:

  • Conserve the sage-grouse,
  • Reduce the delisting backlog for recovered species that were previously protected, 
  • Fight invasive species, 
  • Prevent illegal wildlife trafficking, 
  • And keep fish hatcheries open. 
Any rule making under the Endangered Species Act related to the sage grouse would be delayed for one year.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) would get the same amount of funding as the previous year — $1.05 billion. Funding would be prioritized for handling natural hazards, groundwater monitoring, mapping, and upkeep on the earthquake early warning system.

Appropriations for the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) would total $180 million — $30 million more than the previous year. $30 million of this funding would go to a program that accelerates the reclamation of abandoned mine lands to boost community redevelopment and economic growth. States would receive $58 million in grant funding from OSM. A proposal to hire federal regulators to duplicate state inspections would be blocked.


Other Programs

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education would receive $2.8 billion for operations — an increase of $165 million. The Indian Health Service would receive an additional $145 million from the previous year for a total funding level of $4.8 billion. This additional funding would go to staffing newly constructing health facilities, keeping pace with medical inflation, and investing in the operation, maintenance, and replacement of schools.

The Federal Payments to Local Communities (a.k.a. “Payments In Lieu of Taxes or PILT) program is used to compensate local governments for losses in property tax revenue due to nontaxable federal lands in their county. That program would receive $452 million for fiscal year 2016.

Impact

People affected by environmental regulations, or fishing, hunting, and land management regulations, or that participate in Native American programs; the EPA and agencies of the Department of the Interior, or Native American agencies; Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2822

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth:

The sponsor of this legislation, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), said that this legislation “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.”

Rep. Calvert added that:

“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 natural resources, and fulfills our commitment to the needs of Indian Country.”

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said this bill ”makes great strides to budget responsibly, investing in proven programs while making cutbacks where we can… EPA is one such agency that can certainly make do with less.”

Both the specific policies put forward in this legislation and its overall funding levels have come under fire from the White House and congressional Democrats. Through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the White House criticized the proposed funding levels as “inadequate.” It also blasted policies that would make climate change and carbon pollution “more difficult and costly to address in the future, with negative consequences for the environment, the economy, and national security.”

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) went even further in criticizing this legislation, saying that “the air every American breathes, the water every American drinks, are all at risk because of the funding cuts and policy attacks in this bill.”

This bill was passed by the House Appropriations Committee on a vote of 30 to 21.


Other provisions of this bill include:

The Smithsonian Institution would receive the same amount of appropriations that it got in the previous fiscal year, totalling $820 million. The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities would receive $146 million for each endowment (totalling $292 million), which is the same funding level as the prior year. No funding would be provided to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission and before construction can begin funds must be appropriated, but the commission’s authority to build on its present site would be extended.

WIldland firefighting and prevention would receive $3.6 billion for fiscal year 2016, which is $52 million more than the previous year.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user BLMOregon)

AKA

Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016

Official Title

Making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes.

    Actually, I would say cut their budget to zero. If we can't do that, keep it to minimum.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    The EPA is one of the few regulatory agencies that still has teeth and still looks out for the American people. With climate change being such an emergency, their funding should be increased, not decreased.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    The EPA needs more teeth, more financing, and more scientific data. Hamstringing this department has negative implications for the land on which we live. We must be stewards of this great nation. Not merely exploiting it for profit.
    Like (30)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill cuts way too much money from the EPA. Come on guys, the environment is important.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    This isn't a funding bill, it's a de-funding bill.
    Like (14)
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    The EPA has its teeth sunk into everything. Businesses of all sizes are crippled by its regulations and expanding its budget will be more hurtful than helpful. It's ironic that we allow these regulations to pass in the name of clean air while American businesses are so pinned down that they are suffocating in the bureaucratic smog.
    Like (9)
    Follow
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    Environmental protection is of paramount importance. Opponents to the EPA cite regulation as "job killing," when the transition to cleaner and renewable energy needs to happen -- yesterday. For the public's health, safety, and protection of our nation -- environmental security is national security.
    Like (6)
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    In my opinion it is still too much for the EPA, they have been political hit men for the administration killing our economy with their junk science agenda. Their budgets have been bloated under this and previous administrations with not enough oversight by the legislative branch who should be the ONLY branch to make laws and rules that effect us all by penalty. Think about what authority the EPA has and rules and fines they can impose all by non-elected branch of govt!
    Like (6)
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    Share
    We need adequate funding to ensure legislation that will protect our health and environment.
    Like (6)
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    The EPA needs to be stronger and not cut down in size/strength. The private sector will take advantage of the weakened EPA, further damaging the environment. Also any talk of job creation through less regulation is poppycock. Saving an entire ecosystem is worth so much more than 15 people getting jobs.
    Like (6)
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    Considering the state of our environment and man's obvious impact therein which is undisputed (except by a a very small minority of "paid for" Scientists) cutting back funding is ill advised. This is neither a rational, wise or ethical proposition but one clearly supported by big oil and the dirty fuels businesses.
    Like (5)
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    I wish everyone would read this summary. A NAY vote means not cutting funding to the EPA.
    Like (5)
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    To cut funding for the EPA would make sense with our current policies of raping the Earth. So, as long as you're cool with raping the Earth some more, vote yes.
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    Absolutely mind-boggling to cut funding. EPA is one of the most successful US institutions, keeping Americans safe and preserving our country for our children.
    Like (4)
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    We need as much money as possible in the EPA and Dept. of the Interior! These are crucial agencies that affect our immediate future!
    Like (4)
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    Climate issues are not partisan issues. We need to give the EPA every advantage in protecting the planet for future generations.
    Like (3)
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    The percentage of the overall budget is still so small, no reason the cuts need to be made here. Give the EPA their requested amount.
    Like (3)
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    It is enough. I am always having to make due with less. Why should the government not have the same thriftiness? Besides I am always for smaller government and balanced budgets.
    Like (3)
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    We need to invest more in the EPA, not less. If we damage our planet beyond repair, nothing else matters.
    Like (2)
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    Environment has to come first. Even before mild fluctuations in employment
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