Interior-Environment spending bill clears House committee

The House Appropriations Committee approved a $27.6 billion Interior-Environment bill Thursday, making it the fourth of 12 fiscal 2008 spending measures to be approved thus far.

Those four bills are scheduled for the floor next week, including the Interior-Environment measure as well as the Energy and Water, Homeland Security and Military Construction-VA bills. House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., said party leaders have said to expect a long week, with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., serving notice that it will be a "full day on Friday, and if necessary on Saturday" to keep to the announced schedule of getting most of the bills done by the July Fourth recess.

The Interior-Environment spending bill passed without objection, although Republicans argued it spent too much money -- $1.9 billion above the White House request.

The panel adopted an amendment by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., stipulating that the process of opening Alaska's Bristol Bay to energy production be done carefully so as to protect salmon fisheries in the area. That was scaled back from a blanket prohibition on Bristol Bay oil and gas exploration, but some members felt it was still too prohibitive, and the amendment barely squeaked through on a 33-30 vote.

Another Hinchey amendment, similar to one he attached last year to the Interior measure on a 252-165 vote, to bar oil and gas companies that hold royalty-free leases from buying future leases was approved by voice vote. An amendment by Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., to lift the 25-year moratorium on natural gas drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf was defeated, 39-25, as GOP members from coastal areas joined most Democrats in opposing the amendment.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.