1998 Scorecard Vote
The 1997 balanced budget agreement proposed decreasing overall environmental spending every year until at least 2003--an action with serious implications for efforts to protect natural resources and reduce pollution. During consideration of the 1999 budget resolution, which sets the framework for making annual appropriation and tax cut decisions, the Senate proposed even deeper cuts in future environmental spending.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) countered with an amendment that would restore funding in the Fiscal Year 1999 budget for President Clinton's proposed Environmental Resources Fund for America, a major spending initiative designed to fund a wide array of environment and natural resource programs. The Lautenberg amendment would provide room in the overall federal budget for several environmental initiatives, including:
- the Clean Water Action Plan, channeling $568 million to states, tribes, and individuals to reduce polluted runoff from urban areas, agriculture, mining, and other sources--the largest unregulated source of water pollution;
- the Land, Water and Facility Restoration Initiative, providing an additional $92 million for repairing and refurbishing the aging infrastructure in national parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands;
- a $2.1 billion, or 40%, funding increase for accelerating toxic waste cleanups at Superfund sites; and
- expanded funding for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Loan funds to ensure that drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure continue to meet water quality and public health needs for the next century.
On April 2, 1998, the Lautenberg amendment was defeated, 47 - 52. YES is the pro-environment vote.