H.R. 6147, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019

This comprehensive bill “Provides appropriations to Interior for [non-Departmental Offices]…; Interior for Departmental Offices…; Interior for Department-Wide Programs…; the EPA; the Department of Agriculture for the Forest Service; the Department of Health and Human Services…; other related agencies… [and] Sets forth requirements and restrictions for using funds provided by this and other appropriations Acts.

Why This Bill Is Against Our Values:

[This] bill provides $35.3 billion, which is equal to the FY 2018 enacted level. … Unfortunately, the [Republican] majority targeted EPA’s regulatory programs with a total cut of $100 million while refusing to rein in the spending of the Administrator of EPA [Scott Pruitt]. It is unconscionable that American taxpayers are on the hook for an EPA Administrator’s misuse of federal dollars for lavish expenses, while they suffer the consequences of an EPA that prioritizes the interests of corporations over protecting American families. … We wish the positives in the bill extended beyond Native American funding, Historic Preservation, and the arts. This bill went to Full Committee with 14 poison pill riders that do not belong in an appropriations bill, but instead should be fully and transparently debated by the authorizing committees. When Democrats attempted to strike those egregious riders, which affect the Department of the Interior, EPA, and U.S. Forest Service, through Ranking Member McCollum’s amendment, the Majority rejected this effort and instead added additional policy riders that would block judicial review of California water projects, limit Clean Water Act Section 401 Authorities, and jeopardize imperiled species such as grizzly bears, marbled murrelet, and bi-state Sage Grouse. … In its current form, this bill fails the American people by cutting environmental protection; shredding safeguards that protect our air, water, and endangered species; and allowing rampant corruption in the Executive Branch to go unchecked. Given these shortcomings, we cannot support this bill in its current form.” (Source: Dissenting Views, Committee on Appropriations, House Report 115-765)

“Today [July 19, 2018], House Republicans passed an Interior-Environment appropriations bill that fails the American people. This bill cuts environmental protections; removes safeguards for our air, water, and endangered species; and allows rampant corruption at the Executive Branch to go unchecked. … Democrats were able to secure a few meaningful victories on the floor…. However, the Republican majority made this bad bill even worse by adding toxic partisan riders and making deeper cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Fish and Wildlife Service.” (Source: Statement from Betty McCollum)

“The chief reason NPCA opposes H.R. 6147 is the addition of numerous riders to the base bill, including harmful policy provisions that would impact our national parks. For example, section 431 of the bill repeals the Clean Water Rule which works to protect waterways that flow in and through our national parks. Section 438 unnecessarily disallows funds to be used to support reintroduction of grizzlies into North Cascades National Park—an effort supported by both the Obama and Trump administrations and years of constituent engagement and the region’s best available science. Additionally, Section 117 legislatively removes federal protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states, an action that NPCA opposes as it bypasses the Endangered Species Act delisting process and would impact wolves in national parks across the country.” (Source: National Parks Conservation Association)


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