Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who chairs the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, made historic cuts to funding for agencies under his jurisdiction that were included in H.R. 1473, the final continuing resolution for fiscal year 2011. H.R. 1473 cuts nearly $40 billion in federal spending, the largest non-defense funding reduction in our nation’s history and the biggest budget cuts since World War II. Agencies under Simpson’s jurisdiction were cut by $2.62 billion, a cut of over 8% compared to current funding levels.
Cuts to the EPA in H.R. 1473 represent 61% of the subcommittee’s reduction. “The Obama Administration has dumped money into the EPA over the past two years, and what the American people have seen as a result is a slew of new regulations pouring out of the agency,” said Simpson. “These cuts give us the opportunity to take a close look at how the agency is spending its dramatic increases in funding and look at whether the regulations it is putting out are appropriate and within the limits of the authority Congress has given the EPA.”
H.R. 1473 includes other significant cuts to programs under Simpson’s jurisdiction, including a 33% reduction for federal land acquisition and a $49 million reduction for climate change funding. In the bill, Simpson focused on the core mission programs of agencies, ensuring that agencies like the BLM, the Forest Service, and the National Parks Service can continue to carry out fundamental operations that serve the American people.
“Nearly everyone will be able to find something they don’t like in H.R. 1473, but at the end of the day we all know that we simply can’t continue to spend money that we don’t have,” said Simpson. “By making historic cuts to federal programs for the remainder of the current fiscal year, Republicans have made it clear that they are serious about getting our deficit under control and getting our economy going again. We all know that reducing discretionary spending by nearly $40 billion is only the first step in restoring fiscal responsibility, but it is a step in the right direction.”
The Interior and Environment portion of the bill also includes language returning management of Northern Rocky Mountain wolf populations back to states with approved management plans and language limiting the use of funds for the Department of the Interior’s “Wild Lands” policy.