The U.S. House of Representatives voted today mainly along party lines (217-199) for an Environmental Protection Agency budget that would leave parts of the Agency underfunded and understaffed. The Interior and Environment Minibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 6147) passed today also includes anti-environmental policy riders that make it more difficult for EPA to do its job.
The bill would slash more than $500 million from EPA’s current budget, hampering key programs and infrastructure that protect public health and our air, water and environment.
“It is again apparent that a majority in Congress care more for industry and a misguided presidential agenda than they do for the health of our families and the well-being of our environment.
“Conversations about EPA’s budget over the past two years have made clear that the agency, and the safeguards it affords, are cherished by communities, and that the American people will loudly speak up when those protections are under attack.
“Rather than heed the voices of families and communities, members of Congress have doubled down. Those members who voted to approve this bill and its dangerous amendments now have a black mark beside their name as millions of Americans head to the ballot box this fall.
We thank the members who stood up to such an insulting and dangerous budget, and expect that those who have committed to protecting EPA and its critical mission will continue to fight for the Agency as the budgetary process moves forward.
Additionally, we hope the Senate will stand against EPA funding cuts and anti-environmental riders when they consider their own funding bill next week.”
- Carol Andress, Senior Director for Legislative Affairs, EDF Action.
The House of Representatives also voted to give polluters a free pass at the expense of American families and communities by adding multiple dangerous amendments.
This included amendments to:
- Prohibit the use of funds to enforce the EPA Methane Rule
- Prohibit funds from implementing the Social Cost of Carbon
- Prohibit funds from being used to regulate trailers under the Clean Air Act
- Prohibit EPA from using funds to give formal notification, prepare, propose, implement, administer, or enforce any rule or recommendation pursuant to section 115 of the Clean Air Act.
However, some votes today demonstrated increasing bipartisan support to oppose EPA funding cuts and anti-environmental legislation. Today 15 Republicans voted against the bill. A bipartisan group of members, including 57 Republicans, defeated an amendment that would have prohibited funds for Environmental Justice small grants issued by the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice.