House Moves on Interior-EPA Appropriations Bill with Policy Amendments

The House of Representatives this week considered an appropriations bill, H. R. 3354, that combines eight separate spending bills for FY 2018, including the bill for the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. House leadership delayed final passage of the bill until next week. This was done so that Members whose districts are threatened by Hurricane Irma could leave town early. 

The Rules Committee allowed a number of amendments to be offered. Most were voted on this week, but several were delayed until next week. Here are six of interest: 

Representative Scott Perry’s (R-PA) amendment to prohibit regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under Section 115 of the Clean Air Act was adopted by voice vote.

Rep. Andy Biggs’s (R-AZ) amendment to decrease EPA funding by $10,234,000 was rejected by a roll call vote of 184 to 228. The House bill cuts EPA funding by 6% below FY 2017 levels. President Trump requested a 31% cut. 

Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-MN) amendment to remove language delaying the ozone rule was defeated by a 194 to 218 vote.

Rep. Steve Pearce’s (R-NM) amendment to block implementation of the Bureau of Land Management’s venting and flaring rule for oil and gas production on federal lands passed by a vote of 216 to 186.

Rep. Raul Grijalva’s (D-AZ) amendment to restore funding for the EPA’s environmental justice program failed on a 190 to 218 vote. The House bill cuts the environmental justice program significantly, but does not eliminate it as President Trump requested. 

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) offered an amendment on behalf of Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Don Beyer (D-VA) that would prohibit funding for any testing for offshore oil and gas reserves along the Atlantic coast. It was rejected by voice vote.