Statement of Administrative Policy Opposes House Approps for Interior and EPA

On Tuesday, June 23rd, the White House issued a “statement of administrative policy” related to HR 2822, the FY 16 House Appropriations for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill.  The statement – available here – outlines the Administration’s opposition to the funding provisions for both Interior and EPA programs and, in fact, states, “If the President were presented with HR 2822, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”  The statement goes on to say, “The President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto H.R. 2822 and any other legislation that implements the current Republican budget framework, which blocks the investments needed for our economy to compete in the future.”
Among the EPA-related provisions found to be particularly onerous are:

  • EPA’s Operating Budget: The bill’s reduction to EPA’s operating budget by $474 million, or 13 percent, compared to the FY 2016 Budget request. This reduced level of funding would significantly undermine implementation of the Clean Power Plan and the recently finalized Clean Water Rule.
  • State Categorical Grants: Often, States and Tribes implement environmental programs through delegated authorities. However, the bill reduces these grants to States and Tribes to carry out activities such as water quality permitting, air monitoring, and hazardous waste management programs.
  • State Revolving Funds (SRFs): The bill reduces SRF funding by a combined $527 million from the FY 2016 Budget request, reducing necessary support to help communities finance water infrastructure improvements, resulting in approximately 200 fewer projects being funded nationally.

ASDWA will continue to track the progress of House and Senate appropriations for FY 16.