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

This was a vote to pass H.R. 6147 in the House. The federal budget process occurs in two stages: appropriations and authorizations. This is an appropriations bill, which sets overall spending limits by agency or program, typically for a single fiscal year (October 1 through September 30 of the next year).

H.R. 6147 provides a total of $58.675 billion in total discretionary budget authority for agencies within the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act and the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. This includes $35.252 billion for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies and $24.423 billion for the financial services and general government provisions.

###Division A ####Title I—Department of the Interior

The bill provides a total of $13.046 billion for the Department of the Interior, including funding for:

  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM): The bill provides a total of $1.4 billion for the BLM, an increase of $55 million above the FY 2018 enacted level.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Resource Management: The bill provides $1.6 billion for FWS, an $11 million decrease below the FY18 enacted levels. Significant investments continue to be made to reduce the deferred maintenance backlogs within the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Fish Hatchery System, and to ensure that all fish hatcheries continue to operate. Funding to recover and delist threatened and endangered species is increased by $5.5 million, including a $2.5 million increase for Recovery Challenge matching grants to share the costs of recovery with corporate and other non-governmental partners. Proposed cuts are restored to the National Wildlife Refuge Fund and cost-shared grant programs, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, which is increased by $2 million. Bill language is included to delist recovered gray wolves and prevent the unnecessary listing of greater sage-grouse.
  • National Park Service (NPS): The legislation includes $3.25 billion for the NPS, an increase of $50 million above the fiscal year 2018 level.
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS): The bill includes $1.2 billion for the USGS, $19 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Funding is targeted to critical infrastructure investments in natural hazards programs, streamgages, the groundwater monitoring network, and critical materials mapping activities. The bill includes $21 million for an earthquake early warning system to help save lives during natural disasters; a $13 million increase for the streamgage network; and $11 million for the Three Dimensional Mapping and Economic Empowerment Program.  The bill also fully funds the development of “Landsat 9” – a satellite program that provides land use measurements that are important to local communities for agriculture, forestry, energy and water resource decisions.
  • Wildland Firefighting and Prevention – In total, the bill funds wildland firefighting and prevention programs at $3.9 billion, fully funding the 10-year average for wildland fire suppression costs for both the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service, and providing robust additional funding – $500 million – for Forest Service suppression operations.
  • Native American Programs: The bill increases the federal commitment to honoring government-to-government treaty and Trust agreements entered into with American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Indian Health Service is funded at $5.9 billion, $370 million above the fiscal year 2018 level.  The Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education are funded at $3.1 billion, $40 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
  • Federal Payments to Local Communities: The bill provides $500 million for “Payments In Lieu of Taxes” (PILT), $35 million above the budget request. PILT provides funds for local governments in 49 states to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their counties. Without congressional action, many rural communities would face huge budget shortfalls impacting public safety, education, and other local government responsibilities.

####Title II—Environmental Protection Agency The bill funds EPA at $7.958 billion, $100 million below the fiscal year 2018 level.  Within this total, EPA’s regulatory programs are reduced by $228 million below the current level. The legislation supports the President’s proposal to reshape the Agency’s workforce by providing resources requested to offer buyouts and voluntary separation agreements to employees.

The bill also targets additional funding provided by the recent budget agreement to infrastructure programs, including:

  • A total of $2.6 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan fund, which states and localities use for water infrastructure projects;
  • An increase of $40 million to accelerate the cleanup of Superfund sites to return them to productive use and spur economic development; and
  • A total of $75 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program to leverage federal dollars to provide financing for more than $8 billion in water infrastructure projects.

This bill includes a full repeal of the “Waters of the United States” regulation.

Also included is bill language prohibiting the regulation of lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle, relieving livestock operations from EPA permitting requirements, and exempting livestock producers from EPA greenhouse gas regulations.

Also included is a multiple agency directive to EPA, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Energy to establish clear policies that reflect the carbon neutrality of biomass, as well as a provision prohibiting EPA from making changes to certain agricultural exemptions under the Clean Water Act.

####Title III—Related Agencies

The bill provides a total of $13.882 billion for Related Agencies funded under the bill, including funding for:

– The Smithsonian Institution is funded at $1 billion in the bill, $12 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. This level is sufficient to allow all current operations and programs to continue. The bill also includes $225 million toward the multi-year renovation of the National Air and Space Museum.

  • National Endowment for the Arts and Humantiies: The bill includes $155 million for each of the endowments, $2 million above the fiscal year 2018 level for each endowment.

####Title IV—General Provisions

Title IV includes general provisions pertaining to the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies.

Division B

Division B appropriates $23.423 billion in funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Executive Office of the President, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other related agencies. The major provisions of Division B of the bill are as follows:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – The bill provides $11.6 billion for the IRS – an increase of $186 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Of the funds, $77 million are targeted to help the IRS with implementing the new tax code adopted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In total, the bill provides Taxpayer Services an additional $31 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level to support IRS’s customer service – such as phone call and correspondence response times – and funding for fraud prevention, and cybersecurity.
  • General Services Administration (GSA) – The bill allows the GSA to spend $8.6 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund. This level of funding will cover the rent and other costs of buildings and properties owned or occupied by federal government agencies across the nation. In addition, the bill supports critical infrastructure investment on our nation’s border, providing $276 million to fund the second and final phase of construction of the Calexico, CA, Land Port of Entry.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – Included in the bill is $1.66 billion for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) salaries and expenses, which is $201 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. In addition, the legislation contains policy provisions and reporting requirements to improve transparency, accountability, and fairness and to stop overly burdensome regulation. For example, the bill prohibits the agency from requiring the disclosure of political contributions in SEC filings.
  • District of Columbia – The bill contains a $737 million federal payment to the District of Columbia –which is $15 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
    • It also includes $45 million for the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR), which provides scholarships to low-income students in DC to attend private schools.
    • Fund for America’s Kids and Grandkids – The legislation includes a new “Fund for America’s Kids and Grandkids,” which safeguards $585 million (2.5 percent of the bill) for future generations, and is available only when our budget deficit is erased.
    • Maintains provisions prohibiting federal and local funds from being used for abortion;
    • Maintains provisions prohibiting further marijuana legalization;
    • Maintains a prohibition on federal funds from being used for needle exchanges and the supervised consumption of any Schedule I substances in the District of Columbia;
    • Prohibits funds for the DC Death with Dignity Act and fully repeals the local legislation; and
    • Prohibits funds for enforcement of DC Reproductive Non-Discrimination Act.
  • Fighting the Opioid Epidemic – The legislation contains $415 million for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Within this amount, the bill provides $280 million for High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and $118 million for other federal drug control programs.
  • Other Legislative Provisions – The legislation contains several policy provisions, including:
    • The bill prohibits the use of funds in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program for abortion.
  • -The bill prohibits funding to require that entities applying for or conducting work under federal contracts disclose campaign contributions.
    • The bill includes a provision maintaining the six-day mail delivery requirement for the Postal Service.
    • Title X carries the Email Privacy Act as passed by the House in the 115th Congress.
    • Title XI carries the Amateur Radio Parity Act as passed by the House in the 115th Congress.

Source: Republican Policy Committee

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 51%
 
 
217
217
 
0
 
Nay 46%
 
 
199
15
 
184
 
Not Voting 3%
 
 
12
3
 
9
 

Date: Jul 19, 2018

Question: On Passage of the Bill in the House

Required: Simple Majority

Result: Passed

Source: house.gov

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