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02/14/2011 10:41 AM     print story email story  

House Republicans Double Size of EPA Budget Cut News

House Republican's on Friday night proposed even deeper budget cuts for environmental initiatives than initially proposed midweek.

The Continuing Resolution bill proposed by the House Appropriations committee would reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $3 billion--rather than $1.6 billion (reported last week).

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the Interior-EPA spending panel, said his goal is to keep the EPA from implementing greenhouse gas regulations through the remainder of the fiscal year, so that House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton has time to pass a long-term bill to block the regulations

The Republican budget proposal also eliminates all funding for the Administration's energy and climate adviser--a position being vacated by Carol Browner.

And it cuts $1.4 billion from appropriations for the Department of the Interior. In particular, the DOI cuts are aimed at the Obama Administration's wilderness policy, which gives the agency authority to impose additional conservation restrictions on public lands without Congressional approval.

The Republican's bill also would stop the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from terminating the license review process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada.

In all, Republicans propose to cut the budget $60 billion bellow current spending levels for the remainder of the year and $100 billion below the administration's spending plan. 

Obama Releases Complete Budget Details

Meanwhile, the White House released its complete budget, which projects an all-time high deficit of $1.65 trillion. That figure was driven upwards by tax-cut agreement made with Republicans in December. 

Obama's plan does promise $1.1 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade through spending cuts and tax increases.

Obama's budget proposes spending increases in selected areas of education, biomedical research, energy efficiency, high-speed rail and other areas where the administration seeks to improve U.S. competitiveness.

His budget also would cut $33 billion in funding for roughly 200 programs, including deep cuts to Community Development Block Grants; a program that helps pay heating bills for low-income families; and a program supporting environmental restoration of the Great Lakes.

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