2008 Scorecard Vote
The Congressional budget process begins once the President's annual budget is submitted in February. At that time, Congress begins to develop its own budget plan that reflects its spending priorities. The federal budget resolution sets funding levels for the next fiscal year and sets forth budget totals for the next five years.
Because the concurrent budget resolution determines the spending authority of House appropriation committees that then subdivide the amount among its subcommittees, the federal budget is a powerful tool for establishing national policy priorities. Programs that protect our air, water, climate, wildlife, parks, forest, refuges, and other public lands fall under the Interior-Environment Appropriation Committee.
S. Con. Res. 70 marks the second year of reversing cuts to many important environmental and conservation programs that occurred for nearly a decade. The budget agreement provides $38.6 billion in FY 2009 discretionary spending for environment and natural resources programs. This funding level is $1.9 billion above the FY 2008 enacted level, and $3.9 billion over the President's FY 2009 request. The resolution also provides $7.7 billion for energy programs in FY 2009, which is $2.8 billion above the President's proposal. This is a major improvement over the years of depleting funding for important public lands and natural resource management.
YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. As a concurrent resolution, the bill does not need the President's signature. On June 4, the Senate passed S. Con. Res. 70, by a vote of 48-45 (Senate roll call vote 142), setting the congressional budget for fiscal year 2009.