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House committee passes $28B Interior-EPA bill, retaining most riders
Date:29 Jun 2012
Accessibility:Subscription only, paid
The House Appropriations Committee this morning approved a bill to slash funding for the Interior Department and U.S. EPA, while halting agency efforts to regulate greenhouse gases, mining waste and waterways, among many other issues. With passage of the $28 billion fiscal 2013 bill, Republicans have again aimed to curtail what they argue is rampant and wasteful spending and regulations that they say have draped a wet blanket on the nation's economy. The committee this morning voted 26-19 to pass the measure that would cut EPA funding 17 percent -- dropping it to spending levels last seen in 1998 -- while significantly reducing Interior wildlife, climate change and land acquisition funding. Committee members this morning adopted a handful of Republican amendments to block EPA plans to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants and asbestos from small residences, strengthen insurance for hardrock mines, and label lawn fertilizers. While most drew vociferous Democratic objections, the committee did find bipartisan accord on a proposal by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to require EPA to report state proposals for managing regional haze.