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House Committee OKs Fiscal 2017 EPA, Interior Spending Bill

budget analysis reviewThe House Appropriations Committee voted 31-18 Wednesday to approve a spending bill that would provide $32.1 billion in fiscal 2017 funds for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Forest Service, Indian Health Service and related agencies.

The committee said Wednesday the FY 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill includes $480 million to support the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program and another $3.9 billion to finance wildfire prevention and response efforts.

The legislation contains provisions aimed at eliminating bureaucratic regulations that the panel believes harm U.S.’ economy and job creation initiatives.

The panel adopted a proposal by Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) to require the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to conduct two studies on air quality standards before the bureau implements air emission regulations on offshore operations.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) also introduced an amendment to change bill language that would mandate domestic sourcing of iron and steel for water infrastructure projects.

An adopted amendment proposed by Rep. David Valadao (R-California) aims to maximize water deliveries to drought-hit parts of California and maintain senior water rights while protecting endangered species.

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