On May 22, the House Appropriations Full Committee held a markup of the FY2020 Interior funding bill. The bill, which passed out of committee by a margin of 9 votes (30 to 21), provides a total of $39.6 billion for the Department of the Interior and related agencies. That’s $7.2 billion above the President’s FY2020 budget request and nearly $4 billion above the enacted amount for FY2019.
Appropriators on both sides of the aisle praised the bill, with Rep. Betty McCullum (D-MN) Chairwoman of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee asserting that of the 6,500+ funding requests from members of Congress, over 93 percent were included in the bill. In his opening remarks, Ranking Member of the subcommittee Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) echoed this sentiment, remarking that many of the requests had received bipartisan support.
Interior and Environment Appropriations for FY2020
($, in thousands)*
|Budget Line||FY19 Enacted||FY20 Request||House Bill||House Bill vs Enacted||House Bill vs Request|
|Total Appropriations||35,613,720||32,352,531||39,590,720||+ 3,977,000||+ 7,238,189|
|DOI**||13,020,105||11,746,957||14,155,437||+ 1,135,332||+ 2,408,480|
|FWS||1,577,645||1,327,572||1,656,614||+ 78,969||+ 329,042|
|NPS||3,222,657||2,741,687||3,362,111||+ 139,454||+ 620,424|
|OSMRE***||225,476||121,673||261,360||+ 35,884||+ 139,687|
|BOEM***||129,450||133,426||122,781||– 6,669||– 10,645|
|BSEE***||136,250||131,033||135,711||– 539||+ 4,678|
|BLM||1,346,197||1,187,415||1,411,788||+ 65,591||+ 224,373|
*Totals include both discretionary and mandatory funding, net of rescissions
**Figures represent only amounts appropriated in this bill, not the total amount appropriated for each agency. For e.g., DOI receives significant appropriations from the separate Energy & Water appropriations bill every year
***Amounts for these agencies are net appropriations made by the bill, reflecting the deduction of offsetting receipts
Democrats on the committee such as Barbara Lee (D-CA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), and Nita Lowey (D-NY) lauded the bill for its commit to clean air, clean water, and its prioritization of climate change research. While Republicans such as Rep. Joyce called the bill a step back for conventional energy, the bill choosing instead to fund renewable energies which he claimed are nowhere near ready to provide for the nation’s energy needs.
In total, eight amendments were offered to the bill. Only one, a manager’s amendment from Chairwoman McCullum, was adopted. Five were voted on and defeated, and the remaining two amendments were withdrawn. One of the amendments not adopted by the committee was by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) to remove language from the bill that would set a minimum bid for oil and gas lease sales within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANRW). The bill provision seeks to ensure the lease sales generate the revenue that was projected when they were authorized in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Read more on the bill provision and the ANWR lease sales here.
We will continue our coverage of the appropriations process as moves forward. Stay tuned for analysis at the line-item level when the full House considers the bill.