H.R. 2996: Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010

H.R. 2996

Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010

Date
June 25, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to begin consideration of H.R. 2996, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2010, on Thursday, June 25, 2009, under a structured rule (H.Res. 578) making up to 13 amendments in order.  A summary of the amendments made in order under the rule will be distributed shortly.  The rule provides for one hour of debate and one motion to recommit, with or without instructions.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2996 contains a total of $32.3 billion, which is $4.66 billion, or 17 percent, above FY 2009.  Agencies funded through the bill also received $10.9 billion in supplemental appropriations from the "stimulus" bill, for a combined total increase of 39 percent above the FY 2009 appropriation.  In total, the bill received $38 billion in FY 2009.

Much of the spending increase in the bill is a result of a large funding boost for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The bill provides $10.46 billion for the EPA, which is an increase of $2.8 billion, or 38 percent over the FY 2009 appropriation.  In addition, the EPA received $7.2 billion in supplemental appropriations from the "stimulus" bill.  The Committee report accompanying H.R. 2996 also includes 350 earmarks totaling more than $150 million. 

H.R. 2996 would contribute to an overall total discretionary spending level of $1.09 trillion, or 7.6 percent over FY 2009.  From FY 2007 to FY 2009 non-defense spending has increased 85 percent.  H.R. 2996 would provide funding for a number of agencies, including the Department of Interior (DOI), the EPA, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Indian Health Service, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Smithsonian.  The following is a summary of the spending highlights and other provisions in the bill.

TITLE I-DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management:  Provides $1.119 billion for the BLM, $80 million or 7.6 percent above FY 2009.  BLM oversees approximately 258 million acres of federal land and an additional 700 million acres of subsurface mineral rights.  Funding for the BLM includes $950 million for land management and $26 million for the acquisition of new land, exclusively in western States.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife:  Provides $1.636 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), $196 million or 13.6 percent above FY 2009.  FWS manages approximately 150 million acres of specially 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 $2.724 billion for the National Park Service (NPS), $168 million or 6.1 percent above FY 2009.   The bill provides $2.26 billion for the operation of the National Park System and $542 million 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 $1.106 billion for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which is $62 million above FY 2009.  USGS gathers information to provide scientific classifications of public lands and mineral resources.

Bureau of Indian Affairs:  Provides $2.55 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which is $182 million 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.  Funding is provided for, among other things, administration, construction, salaries, additional field employees.

TITLE II-ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Science and Technology:  Provides $850 million for EPA science and technology programs, an increase of $60 million or 8 percent over FY 2009.  Funding for science and technology includes $17 million for the greenhouse gas registry program, which is an increase of $11 million or 183 percent.

Environmental Programs and Management:  Provides $3.022 billion for the EPA's Environmental Programs and Management account, which is an increase of $630 million or 26 percent over FY 2009.  The funding for environmental programs and management is $81 million above the President's request.  The funding includes $475 million for a new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative within the EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office.

Hazardous Substance Superfund:  Provides $1.307 billion for the Hazardous Substance Superfund, which is an increase of $22 million over FY 2009.  The bill would add the Brookfield Avenue Landfill in Staten Island, New York to the EPA's National Priority List as a Superfund Site

State and Tribal Grant Assistance:  Provides $5.073 billion for EPA's State and Tribal grant program, which is an increase of $2.247 billion or 76 percent.  The funding includes $2.307 billion for grants for the Clean Water State Revolving Funds, which is an increase of $1.618 billion or 235 percent.  These significant increases contribute to the $10.46 billion appropriation for the EPA, an increase of $2.8 billion, or 38 percent over the FY 2009 appropriation. 

TITLE III-RELATED AGENCIES

U.S. Forest Service:  Provides $5.423 billion for the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service, which is $678 million or 14 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 $2.252 billion for Wildland Fire Management through the Forest Service (in addition to Wildland Fire funds for the DOI).  The funding is $121 million above FY 2009.  The funds include $693 million for fire preparedness and $1.129 billion for suppression.  In addition, the funding for the Forest Service includes $1.564 billion for the National Forest Service, $55 million above FY 2009.  The bill also provides $30.7 million for the Urban Forestry program and $36 million for land acquisition.

Indian Health Service:  Provides $4.053 billion for Indian Health Services, an increase of $471 million or 13 percent over FY 2009.  The program provides health and dental services to American Indians and provides $194 million for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse program. 

Smithsonian:  Provides $774 million for the Smithsonian Institute $43 million or 6 percent above FY 2009.  The funding includes $140 million for facilities and $20 million for the design of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

National Gallery of Art:  Provides $167 million for the National Gallery of Art, which is $44 million or 36 percent above FY 2009.

National Endowment for the Arts:  Provides $170 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), distributing taxpayer subsidies for private, for-profit arts programs.  The funding represents an increase of $15 million or 10 percent over FY 2009.   The bill provides the same level of funding for the National Endowment for Humanities, which makes taxpayer funded grants to support research, education, and public programs in the humanities.

OTHER PROVISIONS OF NOTE

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 two months 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 were notified at least 30 days prior to the transfer.

OCS:  The legislation does not reinstate a ban on offshore oil and gas drilling that expired in 2006.

Climate Change:  Provides $420 million in cross-agency climate change funding, which is an increase of $189 million or 82 percent above FY 2009.

Unconventional Gas Research Fund:  Prohibits funds from being used for the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund, which currently is made up of federal royalties, rents, and bonuses derived from federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leases issued under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Overall Interior and Environment Spending in MIllions

Cost

According to the CBO, H.R. 2996 would appropriate $32.300 billion in discretionary funding for FY 2010.

Amendments

H.R. 2996 is being considered under a structured rule (H.Res. 578).  Each amendment is debatable for ten minutes.  The Rule also allows the chair to reduce vote lengths to two minutes and prohibits demands for a division of the question.  Under the Rule, only the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee may make a motion to rise and motions to strike the last word are prohibited.

Following the Democrat's decision to shut down the amendment process, the Rules Committee made in order a maximum of 13 of the 88 amendments that were offered. 

Nine general amendments are made in order under the Rule.   Up to five additional earmark amendments (from a pool of 17) may be offered by Rep. Flake (R-AZ), Rep. Campbell (R-CA), and Rep. Hensarling (R-TX) or their designees.  In short, the Democrats are allowing only up to 13 of the 88 amendments, many of which were designed to limit spending.

Amendments Made in Order

Part A:  Manager's Amendment.

1) Rep. Dicks (D-WA):  The Manager's Amendment authorizes funds from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to be used to pay for any required non-federal share of projects to treat acid mine drainage in abandoned mines. 

The amendment also adjusts the funding level for a number of programs.

•  Increases funds for the National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund State assistance program by $10 million, from $30 million to $40 million.

•  Reduces funds for the Department of Interior, Working Capital Fund's by $10 million, from $85 million to $75 million.

•  Increases funding for the Saving America's Treasures program by $1 million, from $30 million to $31 million.

•  Reduces funding for the National Parks Service construction fund by $1 million, from $214 million to $213 million.

Part B:  Amendments made in order under the Rule, which must be offered at the appropriate point in the reading of the bill.

1) Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT)Prohibits recreational grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund from being used to acquire or make improvements in State or local parks.

2) Rep. Garret (R-NJ) Increases funding for the funding for land conservation partnerships through the Land and Water Conservation Fund by $2 million, from $2 million to $4 million.  The amendment would reduce funds for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) buildings and facilities fund by the same amount, from $35 million to $33 million.

3) Rep. Heller (R-NV)Prohibits funds in the bill from being used to build a Carson Interagency Fire Facility on 15 acres of federal land located in Carson City, Nevada.

4) Rep. Jordan (R-OH)Reduces the overall spending in the bill by $5.75 billion, the FY 2008 appropriated level.

5) Rep. Smith (R-TX)Shifts $25 million within the National Forest System's funds to the Law Enforcement and Investigations drug enforcement effort.

6) Rep. Stearns (R-FL)Reduces funding for the EPA by 38 percent, to the FY 2009 funding level for the agency.

7) Rep. Waldon (R-OR)Reduces the Bureau of Land Management's land management and resources funding by $2.5 million and increases funding for forest health and community wildfire protection activities by the same amount.

Part C:  Up to three of the following 10 amendments may be offered by Rep. Flake or his designee.

1) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $1 million in earmarked funds for the Restore Good Fellow Lodge, at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter, Indiana, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

2) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $1 in earmarked funds for the mass marketing of hatchery fish in Minnesota, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

3) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $150,000 in earmarked funds for the Tarrytown Music Hall Restoration project in Tarrytown, New York, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

4) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $150,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Historic Fort Payne Coal and Iron Building Rehabilitation project in Fort Payne, Alabama, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

5) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $200,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Blount Mansion Historic Restoration project in Knoxville, Tennessee, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

6) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $100,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Swayne Hall Historic Restoration and Renovation project in Talladega, Alabama, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

7) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $150,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Sterling Opera House Renovation project in Derby, Connecticut, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

8) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $150,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Restoration of Historic Coe Mansion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

9) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $1 million in funds from the EPA's Science and Technology fund from being used for an earmark for the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research in St. Simons Island, Georgia, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

10) Rep. Flake (R-AZ)Prohibits $2 million in funds from the National Park Service's Land Acquisition Fund from being used for an earmark for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

Part D:  One of the following three amendments may be offered by Rep. Campbell or his designee.

1) Rep. Campbell (R-CA)Prohibits $1 million in funds from the National Park Service's National Recreational and Preservation fund from being used for an earmark for a project of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation in San Francisco, California, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

2) Rep. Campbell (R-CA):  Prohibits $150,000 in earmarked funds for the Tarrytown Music Hall Restoration project in Tarrytown, New York, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

3) Rep. Campbell (R-CA):  Prohibits $150,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Village Park Historic project of the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York in Canton, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

Part E:  One of the following four amendments may be offered by Rep. Hensarling or his designee.

1) Rep. Hensarling (R-TX)Prohibits $1 million in funds from the National Park Service's National Recreational and Preservation fund from being used for an earmark for a project of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation in San Francisco, California, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

2) Rep. Hensarling (R-TX)Prohibits $150,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund from being used for an earmark for the Sterling Opera House Renovation project in Derby, Connecticut, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

3) Rep. Hensarling (R-TX)Prohibits $150,000 in funds from the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures program from being used for an earmark for the the Cottrill's Opera House restoration project in Thomas, West Virginia, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.

4) Rep. Hensarling (R-TX)Prohibits $150,000 in earmarked funds for the Tarrytown Music Hall Restoration project in Tarrytown, New York, and reduces the overall amount of the appropriation by the same amount.