On June 19th, House Republicans released their Interior & Environment FY2013 Appropriations bill. The bill will be considered at Full Committee today, Wednesday, June 27th, at 10AM. The bill proposes drastic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Land and Water Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Republicans consistently argue that government regulation - with the most blame attributed to the EPA- is at fault for the current recession with little to no evidence to back this up. On the contrary, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures consistently show what we've known for some time that what is holding our economy down is a lack of demand, not government regulations.
The EPA is cut in this Republican bill by -17%, even though the vast majority of these funds go to states and localities for infrastructure projects. Unemployment in the construction sector is at 14.2%; workers that could be employed in clean water infrastructure projects that have more than a $662 billion backlog.
"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."
-- Rep. Norm Dicks, Full Committee Ranking Member
"The deep funding cuts to important conservation and environmental protection programs would, if enacted, cause serious harm to our environment. Likewise, this bill again includes a number of riders and funding limitations that I believe do not belong in the bill and whose effect would be to undermine important environmental law. I strongly disagree on the need for these provisions. Protecting the public's health did not cause the recession, and suspension of these laws will not sustain a recovery."
-- Rep. James Moran, Subcommittee Ranking Member
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