CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to begin consideration of the conference report accompanying H.R. 2996, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2010, on Thursday, October 29, 2009, under a rule. H.R. 2996 was passed in the House on June 26, 2009, by a vote of 254-173. The Senate passed their version of the bill on September 24, 2009, by a vote of 77-21. The legislation also includes Continuing Resolution (CR) to extend funding for programs included in appropriations bills that have yet to be passed. On Monday, October 26, 2009, the House passed a Republican Motion to Instruct Conferees to make the text of the agreed upon bill available 72 hours prior to its consideration and to include a House provision that prohibits funds from being used to implement any rule that requires mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems.
Division A-Conference Report to H.R. 2996, the Department of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Act of 2010
Interior and Environment Funding in Millions
FY 2009 Enacted
Conference Report vs. FY 2009
H.R. 2996 contains a total of $32.24 billion, which is $4.6 billion or 17 percent above FY 2009 discretionary spending levels. In addition to the huge funding increase, agencies funded through the bill also received $11.2 billion in supplemental appropriations, primarily from the "stimulus" bill. In total, the bill received $38.8 billion in FY 2009.
Much of the spending increase in the conference report is a result of a large funding boost for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bill provides $10.3 billion for the EPA, which is an increase of $2.65 billion or 35 percent above the FY 2009 appropriation. In addition, the EPA received $7.2 billion in supplemental appropriations from the "stimulus" bill. Specific funding levels and provisions of note follow below:
TITLE I--DEPARTMENT of INTERIOR
The conference report provides $11 billion for the Department of Interior (DOI), an increase of $882 million or 9 percent above FY 2009.
Bureau of Land Management: Provides $1.1 billion for the BLM, $100 million or 10 percent above FY 2009. BLM oversees approximately 258 million acres of federal land and an additional 700 million acres of subsurface mineral rights.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife: Provides $1.6 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), $206 million or 14 percent above FY 2009. FWS manages approximately 150 million acres of restricted federal land in the National Wildlife Refuge System tasked with conserving fish and wildlife. The bill includes $20 million for FWS to serve in a new climate change adaptive science capacity and $67 million for the acquisition of new land.
National Park Service: Provides $2.74 billion for the National Park Service (NPS), $218 million or 8.6 percent above FY 2009. The bill provides $2.3 billion for the operation of the National Park System and the remainder for capital improvements and maintenance. According to CRS, NPS faces an estimated $9 billion maintenance backlog on the property the agency currently controls. The bill also provides $36 million for new land acquisition.
U.S. Geological Survey: Provides $1.1 billion for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), $68 million or 6 percent above FY 2009. USGS gathers information to provide scientific classifications of public lands and mineral resources.
Bureau of Indian Affairs: Provides $2.62 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), $243 million or 10 percent above FY 2009. The BIA provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 562 federally recognized tribes with a service population of about 1.9 million American Indians.
TITLE II-ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
The bill provides $10.3 billion for the EPA, an increase of $2.65 billion or 35 percent above the FY 2009 appropriation. In addition, the EPA received $7.2 billion in supplemental appropriations from the "stimulus" bill.
Science and Technology: Provides $846 million for EPA science and technology programs, an increase of $56 million or 7 percent over FY 2009. Funding for science and technology includes $19 million for the clime protection program.
Environmental Programs and Management: Provides $2.99 billion for the EPA's Environmental Programs and Management account, an increase of $602 million or 25 percent over FY 2009. The funding for environmental programs and management is $81 million above the President's request.
Hazardous Substance Superfund: Provides $1.3 billion for the Hazardous Substance Superfund, an increase of $21 million 1.6 percent over FY 2009.
State and Tribal Grant Assistance: Provides $4.97 billion for EPA's State and Tribal grant program, an increase of $2 billion or 67 percent. The funding includes $2.2 billion for grants for the Clean Water State Revolving Funds, an increase of $1.4 billion.
TITLE III-RELATED AGENCIES
U.S. Forest Service: Provides $5.29 billion for the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service, $552 million or 11 percent above FY 2009. The Forest Service oversees the management of nearly 500 million acres of non-federal forests in the U.S. Funding for the U.S. Forest Service provides $2.178 billion for Wildland Fire Management (in addition to Wildland Fire funds for the DOI). In addition, the funding for the Forest Service includes $1.572 billion for the National Forest Service, $55 million above FY 2009. The bill also provides $30 million for the Urban Forestry program and $36 million for land acquisition.
Indian Health Service: Provides $4.2 billion for Indian Health Services, an increase of $473 million or 13 percent over FY 2009. The program provides health and dental services to American Indians including $194 million for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse program.
Smithsonian: Provides $761 million for the Smithsonian Institute, $30 million or 4 percent above FY 2009. The bill also provides $167 million for the National Gallery of Art, $44 million or 36 percent above FY 2009.
National Endowment for the Arts: Provides $167 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for Humanities. The funding represents an increase of $12 million or 8 percent over FY 2009 for both organizations. The programs distribute taxpayer subsidies for private, for-profit arts programs and funds grants to support research, education, and public programs in arts and the humanities.
OTHER PROVISIONS OF NOTE
ACORN: The conference report prohibits funds from the bill from being distributed to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its affiliates in FY 2010.
Guantanamo Bay Detainees: States that none of the funds in the bill may be used to release a Guantanamo Bay detainee in the U.S. The bill also states that none of the funds may be used to transfer a Guantanamo Bay detainee into the U.S. until 45 days after the President submits a plan to Congress which includes:
• Any risk to national security posed by transferring the detainee to the U.S.
• The cost of not transferring the detainee.
• The legal rational for the transfer.
• A certification by the President that any risk has been mitigated.
• A certification by the President that the Governor or Legislature in the State where the detainee is being transferred was notified at least two weeks days prior to the transfer.
While the provision does prohibit the release of detainees in the U.S., it still provides an avenue for the President to transfer them into the country.
Great Lakes EPA Rule: Exempts existing steamships on the Great Lakes from an impending EPA air quality ruling. According to the conference report, "While these standards can achieve significant health and welfare benefits, they can also impose significant costs on the industry and on a region whose economy is already reeling."
OCS: The legislation does not reinstate a ban on offshore oil and gas drilling that expired in 2006.
Manure Management Systems: Includes a prohibition against using funding to require mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management facilities.
Climate Change: Provides $382 million in cross-agency climate change funding, an increase of $150 million above FY 2009, including $17 million for the expansion of the Greenhouse Gas Registry.
FLAME Act of 2009: Includes the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act (FLAME) of 2009. The legislation establishes a Federal Land Assistance, Management, and Enhancement (FLAME) Fund within the U.S. Treasury at an estimated cost of $100 million over five years.
"Air Drops": The conference report contains a number of provisions that were not included in either the House or Senate versions of the bill, but were added during the Conference Committee. Notable "air drops" include the Great Lakes EPA ruling and an appropriation of $2 million for a grant program known as "Potomac Highlands."
Earmarks: The conference report contains 71 pages of earmarks totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Davis-Bacon: Applies Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.
Overall Interior and Environment Spending in MIllions
House Passed Bill
Conference Report vs. FY 2009
Percentage Change vs. FY 2009
Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service
United States Geological Survey
Minerals Management Service
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Office of the Solicitor
Office of Inspector General
Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians
Environmental Protection Agency
Science and Technology
Environmental Programs and Management
Office of Inspector General
Buildings and Facilities
Hazardous Substance Superfund
Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program
Oil Spill Response
State and Tribal Assistance Grants
USDA Forest Service
Indian Health Service, DHHS
Council on Environmental Quality
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation
Institute of American Indian Culture
Smithsonian Institution (including facilities)
National Gallery of Art
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
National Capital Planning Commission
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Division B-Continuing Resolution
The conference report extends the continuing resolution (CR) that was originally passed on September 25, 2009, by a vote of 217-190, from October 31, 2009, to December 18, 2009. The CR extends funding for the government through December 18, 2009, at current FY 2009 levels, including all supplemental appropriation levels for defense in 2009, and includes provisions contained in the original CR.
ACORN: The CR would prohibit funds from this or any prior law from being provided to Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its affiliates. This provision would expire on December 18, 2009.
Fannie and Freddie Loan Limits: Extends temporary higher limits on the size of mortgages the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may insure, which were increased from $625,500 to $730,000 in the "stimulus" bill.
Guantanamo Bay Detainees: The CR contains a prohibition on funds from this or any previous Act from being used to release a detainee from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility into the U.S. In addition, the provision prohibits funds from being used to transfer a detainee until at least two months after the President releases a plan including an analysis of the national security risk of transferring the detainee, the cost of not transferring the detainee, the legal rational for the transfer, a certification by the President that the transfer risks have been mitigated, and a certification that the President has contacted the Governor of the State where the detainee would be transferred.
Extensions: The CR extends the authority to continue a number of programs that are set to expire, through the duration of the CR, as follows:
• Extends Child Nutrition Programs under the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.
• Extends retroactive stop-loss pay for military services members whose enlistments were involuntarily extended since September 11, 2001.
• Extends the Commanders' Emergency Response Program for commanders to obtain funds for emergency situations.
• Extends authority for the DoD to continue counterdrug activities and provide equipment for illegal drug monitoring.
• Extends authority for the D.C. government to collect taxes.
• Extends the E-verify program.
• Extends the National Flood Insurance Program.
• Extends the EB-5 visa program, Special Immigrant Status to Religious Workers Other than Ministers, and Preferential Treatment for Certain Religious Refugees.
• Extends the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.
• Extends the U.S. Forest Service's authority to accept fees for certain botanical sales.
• Extends the authority to issue grazing permits.
• Extends the authority to provide funds for schooling in Puerto Rico.
• Extends the authority to fund the Ryan White Care Act, which provides medical services to individuals with HIV/AIDS.
• Extends the Republic of Palau's eligibility to participate in certain education programs.
• Extends provisions from the FY 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 2346) requiring Iraq to match certain U.S. assistance and permit funding for governments that participate in presidential-approved power sharing arrangements with Hamas.
• Extends Overseas Comparability Pay Adjustments for those in the Foreign Service.
• Extends authority to provide grants for Radio Free Asia.
• Extends the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
• Extends the authority of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance, the Government National Mortgage Association, FHA's Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, and the HOPE VI housing program.
• Extends authority for the National Transportation Safety Board to pay its training facility lease.
• Extends the FAA's authority to spend money from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), and its authority to charge taxes.
• Extends federal highway and surface transportation programs and authorizes the appropriation of funding from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
The conference report accompanying H.R. 2918, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2010, would appropriate $32.24 billion in funding for the legislative branch in FY 2010.
According to CBO, the legislation would appropriate $ 1.183 trillion in discretionary spending in FY 2010 if CR spending levels remained constant for the entire Fiscal Year.