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Public Statements

Norm Dicks Statement on the Interior & Environment Appropriations Bill, FY2013

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Norm Dicks made the following comments after release of the FY2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill text:

"After reneging on the bipartisan allocation in the Budget Control Act, Republican leadership decided to reserve the very worst austerity for domestic discretionary appropriations bills. I find it incredibly unfortunate that House Republicans still haven't abandoned their contradictory 'cut and grow' economic agenda, though leading economists and even Mitt Romney has stated that drastic austerity in the near term would undermine our fragile economic recovery. As we are witnessing in Europe, austerity is not working and shouldn't be replicated here.

"Because this bill received an allocation based on the Ryan budget, the Chairman has once again been forced to make drastic cuts to important agencies and programs. The bill overall is -4% below last year and -6% below the President's request. In addition to another round of special interest anti-environment riders, the EPA is cut -17% below last year. The bill also proposes funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the lowest level since the program was established in 1965.

"Last year's Republican proposal had abysmal funding levels and 39 riders for special interests; essentially including an entire authorizing bill on the back of an appropriations bill. This year's bill is only marginally better.

"Despite the hyperbole of some of my Republican friends, EPA programs and regulations did not cause this recession and tying the hands of this important agency certainly won't get us out - that idea is as fictional as recent reports of EPA drones.

"The vast majority of EPA funds get passed through to states and localities, such as grants to fill the enormous backlog of clean water infrastructure projects that the Bush Administration's EPA Administrator estimated in 2002 at $662 billion. These are vital projects that cash-strapped states and localities can't afford to do themselves. Infrastructure projects actually create real jobs in a sector that has a 14.2% unemployment rate.

"There is one positive area in this bill and I will commend the Majority for once again increasing funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service. Thankfully, both sides agree that we must meet our obligations to Native Americans.

"Overall, however, this Interior & Environment bill would do detrimental harm to the environment and represents a serious setback in our efforts to preserve America's natural heritage."

Below is a brief summary of funding levels in the FY2013 Interior & Environment Appropriations bill

Total Allocation: $28 billion | -$1.175 billion below the FY2012 enacted level | -$1.67 billion below the President's FY2013 request.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The bill provides $7.05 billion total, -$1.4 billion below the FY2012 enacted level and -$1.3 billion below the President's request.

Clean Water State Revolving Fund: The bill provides $689 million total, -$778 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$486 billion below the President's request

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: The bill provides $829 million total, -$89 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$21 million below the President's request.

Bureau of Indian Affairs: The bill provides $2.57 billion total, $37 million above the FY2012 enacted level and $41 million above the President's request.

Indian Health Service: The bill provides $4.49 billion total, $187 million above the FY2012 enacted level and $71 million above the President's request.

National Park Service: The bill provides $2.45 billion total, -$135 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$134 million below the President's request.

US Fish and Wildlife Service: The bill provides $1.16 billion total, -$317 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$389 million below the President's request.

Bureau of Land Management: The bill provides $1.073 billion total, -$40 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$34 million below the President's request.

US Geological Survey: The bill provides $967 million total, -$101 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$135 million below the President's request.

Forest Service (Non-Fire): The bill provides $2.292 billion total, -$252 million below the FY2012 enacted level and -$271 million below the President's request.


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