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 TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates 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 McCollumClean water or mining pollution for the nation's favorite wilderness? Buttigieg slams July 4 military parade: I think it makes America 'look smaller' Overnight Energy: Democrats decry use of park fees for Trump July 4 event as 'slush fund' | Rick Snyder withdraws from Harvard fellowship | Moody's Analytics predicts climate change could cost T by 2100 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 KapturCritics worry Trump turning blind eye to honeybee decline House panel advances billion energy bill, defying Trump Dems walk Trump trade tightrope 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.