Breaking Down the House Budget Bill

Recently, the House of Representatives, led by the new Republican House Majority, debated and passed HR1, the Continuing Resolution for FY 11.  This legislation is one of the most harmful to our environment in American history ever to pass a single chamber of the US Congress.  An assault is being made on air, water, lands and wildlife that will irrevocably harm our health, our quality of life, and our economic recovery.  

This spending bill guts environmental protections of our drinking water supply and takes away the authority to hold polluters accountable.  HR 1:

  • Prohibits the use of funds by the Environmental Protection Agency  to reduce carbon dioxide pollution that endangers public health and destabilizing the climate systems that nurture fish and wildlife;  
  • Slashes the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 87 percent;
  • Eliminates $1.2 billion in science funding needed to move away from fossil fuels towards non-polluting sources of energy;
  • Cuts EPA’s budget by 30 percent;
  • Prohibits EPA from enforcing Clean Water Act protections for thousands of American streams and wetlands;
  • Cuts 50 percent from on going cleanups of our Great Waters such the Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound, Long Island Sound, Great Lakes and Lake Champlain;
  • Eliminates all funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund;
  • Eliminates all funding for the Forest Legacy Program;
  • Cuts $87 million from the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund.

Meanwhile, the bill leaves untouched $4 billion in annual oil, gas and coal subsidies!

On February 19 the House of Representatives passed this extreme bill on a party-line vote.  To see how your Representative voted on final passage of HR 1 click here.

Prior to final passage, individual votes were taken to amend HR 1.  Some of those votes made a very bad bill even worse – some made it better – and some would have made it worse but failed.

Here are some the amendments that The Wilderness Society was watching closely:

ANTI-ENVIRONMENT AMENDMENTS TO HR 1 THAT PASSED:
Attacks on EPA Clean Air Act

Rep. Pompeo (R-KS) amendment (No. 84) that reduces funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Programs and Management by $8,458,000 (by a recorded vote of 239 ayes to 185 noes, Roll No. 64)

Rep. Carter (R-TX) amendment (No. 165) that prohibits funds from being used to implement, administer, or enforce the rule entitled ``National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and Standards of Performance for Portland Cement Plants'' published by the Environmental Protection Agency on September 9, 2010 (by a recorded vote of 250 ayes to 177 noes, Roll No. 86)

Rep. McKinley (R-WV) amendment (No. 217) that prohibits the use of funds by EPA to develop, propose, finalize, implement, administer, or enforce any regulation that identifies or lists fossil fuel combustion waste as hazardous waste subject to regulation (by a recorded vote of 239 ayes to 183 noes, Roll No. 136)

Rep. Poe (R-TX) amendment (No. 466) that seeks to prohibit the use of funds by the EPA to implement, administer, or enforce any statutory or regulatory requirement pertaining to emissions of greenhouse gases (by a recorded vote of 249 ayes to 177 noes, Roll No. 96)

Rep. Noem (R-SD) amendment (No. 563) that prohibits funds from being used to modify the national primary ambient air quality standard or the national secondary ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse particulate matter under section 109 of the Clean Air Act (by a recorded vote of 255 ayes to 168 noes, Roll No. 140)

Off-Road Vehicle Use

Rep. Herger (R-CA) amendment (No. 177) that prohibits the use of funds for the Secretary of Agriculture to implement or enforce Subpart B of the Travel Management Rule, relating to the designation of roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use, in any administrative unit of the National Forest System (by a recorded vote of 227 ayes to 177 noes, Roll No. 113)

Mining and Mountaintop Removal

Rep. Griffith (R-VA) amendment (No. 109) that prohibits the use of funds to the EPA, the Corps of Engineers, or the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement from being used to carry out, implement, administer, or enforce any policy or procedure set forth in the memorandum issued by the EPA (by a recorded vote of 235 ayes to 185 noes, Roll No. 129)

Johnson (R-OH) amendment (No. 498) that prohibits funds from being used to develop, carry out, implement, or otherwise enforce proposed regulations published June 18, 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 34,667) by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement of the Department of the Interior (by a recorded vote of 239 ayes to 186 noes, Roll No. 119)

Attacks on Climate Science

Luetkemeyer (R-MO) amendment (No. 149) that prohibits the use of funds for contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (by a recorded vote of 244 ayes to 179 noes, Roll No. 132)

Rep. Hall (R-TX) amendment (No. 495) that prohibits the use of funds to implement, establish, or create a NOAA Climate Service as described in the ``Draft NOAA Climate Service Strategic Vision and Framework'' published at 75 Fed. Reg. 57739 (by a recorded vote of 233 ayes to 187 noes, Roll No. 127)

Attacks on Clean Water

Rep. McKinley (R-WV) amendment (No. 216 printed in the Congressional Record of February 14, 2011) that prohibits funds from being used by the Administrator of the EPA to carry out section 404(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (by a recorded vote of 240 ayes to 182 noes, Roll No. 135)

Attacks on the Arctic

Rep. Young (R-AK) amendment (No. 533) that prohibits the use of funds by the Environmental Appeals Board to consider, review, reject, remand, or otherwise invalidate any permit issued for Outer Continental Shelf sources located offshore of the States along the Arctic Coast under section 328(a) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7627(a)) (by a recorded vote of 243 ayes to 185 noes, Roll No. 94)

ANTI-ENVIRONMENT AMENDMENTS TO HR 1 THAT FAILED:
Thankfully, several amendments lost that were too extreme:

Rep. Pompeo (R-KS) amendment (No. 85) that sought to reduce funding for the Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, State and Private Forestry by $7,400,000 (by a recorded vote of 171 ayes to 256 noes, Roll No. 67)

Rep. Lummis (R-WY) amendment (No. 193) that sought to reduce funding for land acquisition under Title VII--Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies by $35,055,000 (by a recorded vote of 213 ayes to 216 noes, Roll No. 61)

Rep. Latta (R-OH) amendment (No. 259) that was debated on February 15th that sought to reduce funding for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by $70,000,000 (by a recorded vote of 137 ayes to 293 noes, Roll No. 58)

Rep. Heller )R-NV) amendment (No.) that sought to prohibit funds from being used to designate monuments under the Act of June 8, 1906, (commonly known as the ``Antiquities Act of 1906''; 16 U.S.C. 431, et seq.) (by a recorded vote of 209 ayes to 213 noes, Roll No. 139)

PRO-ENVIRONMENT AMENDMENTS TO HR 1 THAT WERE REJECTED
Several amendments were defeated that would have made this very bad bill a little less extreme.

Rep. Tonko (D-NY) amendment (No. 4) that sought to strike the prohibition on Weatherization and State Energy Program funding (by a recorded vote of 208 ayes to 223 noes, Roll No. 57)

Rep. Markey (D-MA) amendment (No. 27) that sought to prohibit the use of funds to issue any new lease to a oil or natural gas company operating under lease on the Outer Continental Shelf if that company refused to pay back royalties avoided amounting to $53 billion over 25 years (by a recorded vote of 174 ayes to 251 noes, Roll No. 109)

Rep. Carney (D-DE) amendment (No. 241) that sought to prohibit the use of funds for the Oil and Gas Research and Development Program of the Department of Energy (by a recorded vote of 121 ayes to 300 noes, Roll No. 142)

Rep. Moran (D-VA) amendment (No. 338) that sought to increase, by offset, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, North American Wetlands Conservation Fund by $50,000,000 (by a recorded vote of 73 ayes to 352 noes with 2 voting ``present'', Roll No. 62)

Rep. Inslee (D-WA) amendment (No. 395) that was debated on February 15th that sought to increase funding, by offset, for the Department of Energy, Energy Programs, Advanced Research Projects Agency--Energy by $20,000,000 (by a recorded vote of 159 ayes to 273 noes, Roll No. 56)

Rep. Wu (D-OR) amendment (No. 526) that sought to prohibit the use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce section 3(e) of the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717b(e)) (by a recorded vote of 87 ayes to 338 noes, Roll No. 108)

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