House Guts EPA Budget By 40% In New Spending Plan

( – Almost 40 percent of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding was cut in the $25.4 billion Interior and Environment appropriations package approved Nov. 3 by the House.

The proposed Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023, HR 4821, was approved by the House in a 213-203 vote. The bill cuts more than 35 percent from fiscal year 2023 levels for Department of the Interior (DOI) Operations. Under the bill, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, as well as the Fish and Wildlife Service, would see the largest cuts to funding.

The proposed budget includes $6.2 billion for the EPA, an almost 40 percent cut from the $10.1 billion fiscal year 2023 budget. The proposal slashes the EPA budget to 1990 levels. For the fiscal year 2024 budget the White House had requested over $12 billion for the EPA.

EPA actions, including the Waters of the United States rule that allows small bodies of water to be regulated by the federal government, would be repealed by the bill.

The House debated a total of 131 amendments to the appropriations package. Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles proposed the most fiercely debated amendment which would rescind the increases to federal public land oil and gas royalties as well as the increases to the per-acre lease rates put in place by the Biden administration. Amendments were also presented that defund “environmental justice” initiatives as well as language that would prevent funds from being used “to implement Biden executive orders on climate change.”

Rules Committee Chairman and Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole stated that the proposed budget delivers not only “a focus on fiscal restraint” but also delivers resources that are essential to clean water, public safety, and domestic energy production.

Seven of the 12 appropriations packages that make up the annual federal budget have now been passed by the House.

Democrats argue that the bill is dead in the Senate, stating that it is filled with ideological culture war amendments. The White House has promised to veto the bill.

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