2009 Scorecard Vote
The Interior-Environment appropriations bill allocates yearly funding for many federal environment and natural resource programs that protect our public lands, wildlife, air, and water, and safeguard communities from toxic pollution. In addition, as the nation increasingly grapples with the need to address climate change and its impacts, the Interior-Environment appropriations bill has become an important vehicle for making advances on this critical front.
H.R. 2996, the FY 2010 bill as passed by the Senate, while not perfect, continues to take important strides in reviving programs devastated by years of starvation budgets, providing a total of $32.1 billion, $4.5 billion (16%) over the FY 2009 level. The bill provided significant funding in a number of areas including: $3.63 billion for clean drinking water and wastewater; $478 million to protect great bodies of water such as the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay; $419 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Forest Legacy; and significant increases for wildlife conservation and to bolster management of our national forests, wildlife refuges, parks, monuments and other public lands.
In addition, the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act of 2009 was added as an amendment to the bill on the Senate floor, intended to help create a dedicated, steady and predictable funding stream for wildfire suppression activities and to alleviate the pressure from fire fighting activities on regular agency budgets.
On June 26, H.R. 2996 passed the Senate by a vote of 77-21 (Senate roll call vote 298). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. The conference report on the Interior-Environment appropriations bill was passed by both chambers and signed into law by the President on October 30.