House rejects Trump cuts, proposes boost for environmental agencies

House rejects Trump cuts, proposes boost for environmental agencies
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The Democratic-led House Appropriations Committee on Monday proposed a funding bump for the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), soundly rejecting cuts proposed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE

The committee bill would increase funding for the EPA, Interior and related agencies by $771 million for fiscal 2021, including a $304 million increase for Interior and a $318 million increase for the EPA. 

“With this bill, we reject the Trump administration’s pandering to the fossil fuel industry and disregard for the environment and public lands. Instead, we increase funding to preserve our landscapes, protect endangered species, and help prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint Protect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package MORE (D-N.Y.) in a statement. 


The $36.7 billion in funding is slightly smaller than the $37.2 billion the committee approved last year. The final budget approved for the agencies was reduced following a compromise with the Republican-led Senate. 

Meanwhile, a separate appropriations bill would increase the Energy Department's budget by $2.3 billion over last year's budget.

In his budget wish-list unveiled earlier this year, President Trump proposed a 26 percent cut to the EPA’s budget and a 16 percent cut to the Interior Department budget. 

He also proposed cutting the Energy Department's budget by 8 percent. 

The House panel's budget would provide increases of $55 million for the National Park Service, $188 million for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and $37 million for the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

It would cut the Bureau of Land Management's budget by $28 million, though this would represent a significant increase in funding from Trump's proposal. 


At the EPA, the bill would boost the Superfund program, which cleans up hazardous waste sites, by $37 million and would increase the agency’s environmental justice activities by $4.8 million, or about 47 percent. 

Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund would no longer discretionary, but would be considered mandatory appropriations. 

And at Energy, the House is proposing a $10 million increase in funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy, which Trump had proposed eliminating entirely.