For the second year in a row, the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Interior and Environment has passed an appropriation bill for the Environmental Protection Agency that aggressively attacks key programs on which Americans rely. The bill calls for cuts of more than $500 million to environmental, science, water infrastructure and management programs from the FY18 Omnibus level. Dangerous reductions include more than $60 million in cuts to science and technology and $150 million in program management. The Subcommittee voted for $31.55 million to continue buying out and laying off EPA’s career staff. Disappointingly the House Interior bill also includes dozens of anti-environmental policy provisions, including one that makes permanent existing language that broadly defines biomass for energy generation as "carbon neutral," and also adds problematic Endangered Species Act (ESA) policy riders.
“It is clear that the leadership of this committee doesn’t get that cutting EPA's budget will result in more asthma attacks, more water pollution, and more toxic chemicals in the lives of America’s kids and families. Since the Trump administration first proposed draconian cuts to EPA in early 2017, communities and families have loudly rejected any attempt to harm an agency that keeps people and children healthy. Nothing has changed— Americans still need clean air, clean water and clean land as well as a fully funded EPA to protect them from the dangerous effects of pollution.
“Unfortunately, the Subcommittee is still marching to Scott Pruitt’s tune. He wants to roll back EPA safeguards and cut the Agency’s staff as much as he can get away with – and they are helping. If this budget passes Congress, polluters will benefit at the expense of people’s health. It is time for Congress to recognize that EPA is a cherished agency that Americans don’t want to see sidelined by Scott Pruitt’s cynical and neglectful agenda.”
- Elgie Holstein, Senior Director for Strategic Planning