A House Appropriations Committee subcommittee on July 12th marked up and passed a $31.4 billion bill to fund the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies in Fiscal Year 2018. The EPA’s budget was cut by 6.5% or $528 million, which is far less than the 31% ($2.6 billion) cut requested by the Trump Administration.
The bill also makes smaller cuts in the Interior budget than the White House Office of Management and Budget wants. The bill will next be considered by the full committee, where it is expected that hundreds of amendments, most of them to increase spending for specific programs, will be offered.
Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert’s (R-CA) bill does contain $58 million for employee buyouts at the EPA. The OMB wants to reduce EPA’s workforce by 3,800 employees below the current level of 14,700. The EPA has said that it will offer buyouts to 1,200 employees this year.