The Great Lakes $475 million and the State Revolving Fund and EPA spending bills are due to hit the floor of the US House this week as well as see a mark-up session in the US Senate tomorrow.
A number of Republicans have had a difficult time choking down the increased spending levels on Interior and EPA budgets (even though spending is $25 million less than President Obama requested) and plan to fight back this week on the US House floor. They are expected to offer amendments that would reduce spending in a number of areas. And Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, Norm Dicks, told E&E Daily that the spending bills will be at the mercy of the mood of Congress this week.
There have also been rumors circulating that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative could be in trouble. Some lawmakers have been considering taking some of the money to use in their own states.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water SRF that pay for our nation’s water infrastructure have also come under attack. Ohio’s Steven LaTourette (R) and Virginia’s Jim Moran (D) have teamed up and attached an amendment requiring federal contractors to pay the prevailing wage to workers. This promises to draw contention during the debate.
Other funding levels of concern that are included in the spending bill are: The Fish and Wildlife Services will get $1.64 billion, the National Park Service should get $2.72 billion and the National Wildlife Refuge System is expected to get $503 million to deal with climate change.