Thursday, February 10, 2011

Potential Budget Cuts Include Programs Central to Mississippi River Basin Conservation

Yesterday (February 9) the House Appropriations Committee released “a partial list of 70 spending cuts” that the Republican majority plans to include in an upcoming Continuing Resolution (CR) bill. The CR legislation will fund the federal government for the seven months remaining in the current (2011) Fiscal Year.  The CR currently in place expires on March 4.  The list of CR spending cuts includes reductions in the following programs that are particularly relevant to Mississippi River Basin water resource issues:
  • Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies   (-$30M)*
  • NOAA   (-$336M)
  • EPA   (-$1.6B)
  • USDA Farm Service Agency   (-$201M)
  • USDA Agriculture Research   (-$246M)
  • USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service   (-$46M)
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund   (-$348M)
  • USGS   (-$27M)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service   (-$72M)
  • National Park Service   (-$51M)
  • EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund   (-$700M)
  • EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund   (-$250M)
  • USDA Forest Service   (-$38M)
* cuts below the Obama Administration's Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal (see here)
M = million; B = billion
Source: House Appropriations Committee media release

A full list of program cuts will be released when the Continuing Resolution bill is formally introduced.  Republican appropriators had hoped to unveil a spending bill incorporating their proposed cuts
later today, February 10, and bring it to the House floor next week, but those plans may be revised because of conservative House Republican desires to come up with even deeper cuts.

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA-6th) released a statement in response to the list of cuts, which is available on-line here, noting that the proposed cuts would undercut "vital investments in the long-term health of the nation.”

For those wishing to contact House and Senate appropriators on these funding proposals, members of the House Appropriations Committee and its subcommittees can be found on page two of our House committee member listing, here.  Senate Appropriations Committee members are listed here and of its subcommittee members here.

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