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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

McCollum, Appropriations Committee Release Fiscal Year 2020 Interior-Environment Funding Bill

May 14, 2019
Press Release
Legislation increases discretionary funding by $1.73 billion from the 2019 level, protecting and preserving public lands, building resilience to climate change, strengthening environmental workforce, and ensuring access to safe drinking water

The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee on Wednesday, May 15, at 2pm ET/1pm CT. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other related agencies, including the Indian Health Service.

In total, the draft bill includes $37.28 billion, an increase of $1.73 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $7.24 billion over the President’s 2020 request. There is also an additional $2.25 billion of funding provided under the fire suppression cap adjustment.

“Our Interior-Environment funding bill totally rejects the pro-pollution, anti-public lands, anti-environmental protection budget proposal submitted to Congress by President Trump,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Chair Betty McCollum. “Instead, Democrats are prioritizing investments that ensure our air is safe to breathe and our water is safe to drink. We are protecting public lands and continuing our federal trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations. To keep our families and communities safe and healthy, the bill restores adequate funding to the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill reverses the Republican policy of climate denial by increasing funding for science and research to ensure policy decisions are made on the basis of sound science. This bill also starts to address the maintenance backlog at our national parks and invests in public lands and protections for endangered species. Finally, measures have been included to make sure Trump administration political appointees are held accountable when they waste taxpayer dollars or abuse the public trust. Democrats are committed to taking on the environmental challenges facing our nation and the planet in a manner that protects the American people today and for the next generation.” 

“With this bill, we are setting out a very different vision than the Trump administration’s approach to the environment and public lands. Instead of giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, we increase funding to preserve our landscapes, protect endangered species, and prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Just as important, we honor our obligations to Native American communities by investing in education, housing, public safety, and health care,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “This bill is about protecting our environment and the health of our families, not about lining the pockets of industry.”

A summary of the draft fiscal year 2020 Interior-Environment bill is below. The full text of the bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups.

Bill Summary:

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) - The bill provides $523.9 million for LWCF, including $244 million for the federal program and $280 million for state programs.  The total is $85 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $491 million above the President’s budget request.

Wildland Fire Management (WFM) - The bill provides $5.21 billion for WFM, which includes $2.25 billion in cap adjusted fire suppression funding. The total funding is $1.6 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $49 million above the President’s budget request.

Department of the Interior (DOI) – The bill provides a total of $13.79 billion in discretionary appropriations for DOI – $833 million above the 2019 enacted level and $2.41 billion above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, the bill includes:

  • $1.4 billion for the Bureau of Land Management, $66 million above the 2019 enacted level and $224 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
     
    • $73 million for sage-grouse conservation, $5 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $28 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $1.7 billion for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $79 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $329 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
     
    • $289 million for Ecological Services, $37 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $49 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $514 million for National Wildlife Refuge System, $26 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $5 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $71 million for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, $6 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $39 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $3.39 billion for National Park Service, $168 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $649 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
     
    • $2.65 billion for Operation of the National Park System, $144 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $221 million above the President’s budget request. This increase includes funding for 500 new staff at park units.
    • $74 million for National Recreation and Preservation, $9 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $41 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $122 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, $19 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $89 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes $67 million for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, $16 million for Save America’s Treasures grants, $23 million for competitive grants to preserve the sites and stories of underrepresented community civil rights, and $10 million for grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

$657 million for Deferred Maintenance including Construction, Cyclic Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation activities, equal to the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $135 million above the President’s budget request.

  • $3.5 billion for Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, $432 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $739 million above the President’s budget request. The bill accepts the proposed separation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education. Amounts below reflect the separation. Within the $3.5 billion, the bill includes:
     
    • $1.7 billion for operation of Bureau of Indian Affairs Operation of Indian Programs, $141 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level for the same programs and $188 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $146 million for Bureau of Indians Construction, $26 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level for the same programs and $88 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $12.8 million for the Indian Guaranteed Loan Program, $2 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $12 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $1 billion for Bureau of Indian Education Operation of Indian Programs, $96 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level for the same programs and $133 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $387 million to Bureau of Indian Education Construction, $149 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level for the same programs and $318 million above the President’s budget request.
    • Fully funds Contract Support Costs.
  • $466 million for Departmental Offices, $7 million above the 2019 enacted level and $28 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
    • $117 million for Office of Insular Affairs, $13 million above the 2019 enacted level and $33 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $56 million for Office of Inspector General, $4 million above the enacted level and $4 million above the President’s budget.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – The bill provides a total of $9.52 billion in for EPA – $672 million above the 2019 enacted level and $3.42 billion above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, the bill includes:

  • $3.41 billion for EPA’s core science and environmental program work, an increase of $105 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.03 billion above the President’s budget request. Within these amounts, the bill includes
    • $476 million for Geographic Programs which help with restoration of nationally significant bodies of water like the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Long Island Sound. This is an increase of $19 million above the 2019 enacted level and $438 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $511 million for compliance monitoring and enforcement activities, a $40 million increase above the 2019 enacted level and $63 million above the President’s request.
    • $18 million in additional funding for scientific and regulatory work on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), needed to establish a drinking water standard and cleanup standards. This level of funding more than doubles current levels for this work.
  • $4.64 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, a $511 million increase above the 2019 enacted level and $1.87 billion above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
    • $3.11 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, an increase of $345 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.13 billion above the President’s budget request.
    • $70 million for targeted grants for drinking water contaminants like lead, nitrates, or other health hazards.
    • $105 million for Brownfields cleanups, a $20.8 increase above the 2019 enacted level and $43 million increase above the President’s budget request.
  • $1.21 billion for Superfund, an increase of $55 million above the 2019 enacted level and $169 million above the President’s request.
  • $10.2 million for Environmental Justice activities, a 47% increase above the 2019 enacted level nearly four-fold increase above the President’s budget request.    

Related Agencies –

  • $3.68 billion for the Forest Service (non-fire), a programmatic increase of $257 million above the 2019 enacted level and $895 million above the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates cost pools from the Forest Service account and instead provides funding for forest service operations in a new account. Additional details are available here.
  • $6.3 billion for the Indian Health Service, an increase of $537 million above the 2019 enacted level and $431 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $4.6 billion for health services, $454 million above the 2019 enacted level and $270 million above the President’s budget request. This rejects the President’s proposed program cuts and includes $81 million for Urban Indian programs, $91 million to recruit and retain health professionals, $25 million for a new electronic health records system, and $25 million to begin a Community Health Aide Program.
    • $964 million for health facilities construction, $85 million above the 2019 enacted level and $161 million above the President’s budget request. This includes an additional $60 million for replacement facilities, including $20 million for small health clinics, $20 million for staff quarters, and $10 million to invest in green infrastructure.
  • $167.5 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is $12.5 million more than the 2019 enacted levels and rejects the President’s budget request proposal to eliminate the Agencies.
  • $1.07 billion for the Smithsonian Institution, an increase of $28 million above the 2019 enacted level and $93 million above the President’s budget request. 
  • $14 million for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an increase of $2 million above the 2019 enacted level and $6 million above the President’s budget request. 
  • $43.5 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, an increase of $2.2 million above the 2019 enacted level and $3.8 million above the President’s budget request. 
  • $61 million for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, $2 million above the enacted level and the President’s budget request.

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