Wednesday, July 27, 2011

House Democrats to Take Aim at Policy Riders in Interior, EPA Spending Battle

To call the Interior and Environment spending bill the House will debate this week partisan would be an understatement. The bill contains 38 policy riders that run the gamut from a one-year stay on new and proposed U.S. EPA rules for greenhouse gases and conventional pollutants to a moratorium on the Fish and Wildlife Service listing new species under the Endangered Species Act. Many of the provisions were included in the original Appropriations subcommittee draft, but others were added in committee almost exclusively by panel Republicans who say they are necessary to prevent EPA and Interior from doing irreparable harm to the economy. More policy amendments are expected to be offered this week, with the House scheduled to take up the bill today. Democrats on the panel and in the House say the measure is a massive overreach by appropriators who are using legislation intended to fund EPA and Interior in fiscal 2012 as a means of undermining landmark environmental laws. Appropriations Committee ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said Democrats this week will focus on highlighting how many environmental protections would be rolled back in the unlikely event that the bill becomes law...more

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