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.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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