Democrats advance spending bills boosting EPA, defying Trump

Democrats advance spending bills boosting EPA, defying Trump
© Greg Nash
House Democrats on Wednesday advanced bills that would boost spending on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other green priorities, defying President TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE’s requests to dramatically reduce funding.
 
Democrats passed the two appropriations bills — interior and environment, as well as energy and water — by voice votes in their respective subcommittees. They are expected to be taken up by the full Appropriations Committee as soon as next week and taken to the House floor in June.
 
“We’re investing billions more than the Trump administration requested in funding that will ensure our air is safe to breathe and our water is safe to drink, and that our public lands and endangered species are protected for future generations,” said Rep. Betty McCollumBetty Louise McCollumFederal watchdog: Trump admin broke law by pulling from park entrance fees during shutdown Interior official threatens to withhold jobs in lawmakers' districts after opposition to BLM move Overnight Energy: Greens scoff at Trump claim he's an 'environmentalist' | Endangered animals get new protections globally | Fires, climate on centerstage at G-7 | BLM's move west gets complicated MORE (D-Minn.), who chairs the interior and environment subcommittee.
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The $37.3 billion interior and environment bill allocated $9.5 billion for the EPA, a $672 million increase. In his budget request, Trump asked Congress to slash a third of the agency’s funding. 
 
It also increased Interior Department funding to $13.8 billion, instead of reducing it by 11 percent as Trump had requested. Portions of the increase went to environmental offices dealing with ecological services, land management, fish and wildlife, as well as national parks.
 
The $46.4 billion energy and water bill rejected Trump’s calls to cut eliminate Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy and claw back previous funding, instead increasing it by $59 million, or 16 percent.
 
“This bill rejects the President’s drastic and short-sighted proposed cuts – including a 12% decrease to the Department of Energy, a 31% decrease to the Army Corps of Engineers, and a 28% decrease to the Bureau of Reclamation – and instead increases investments to these important programs,” said energy and water subcommittee Chairwoman Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturTen notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Congresswoman 'all good' after car crushed by construction equipment House passes legislation aimed at stabilizing multiemployer pension plans MORE (D-Ohio).
 
Republicans on the committee said they objected to advancing bills before the House, Senate and White House reached a deal to increase budget caps for 2020. The committee is writing spending bills based on figures that Democrats proposed.
 
“The bill increases funding by 5% over last year’s levels, with the EPA receiving an 8% increase – levels that are not in line with the current budget caps,” said Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerLobbying world House approves bill increasing federal worker pay House approves 3 billion spending package MORE (R-Texas), the committee’s ranking member.