WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last Wednesday, the House Appropriation Subcommittee on the Interior and the Environment passed by voice vote draft legislation directing $32.3 billion in discretionary spending to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Smithsonian Institution and other programs - a 17 percent increase from FY 2009.
The Department of Interior would receive $11 billion or $897 million more than FY 2009.
Native Americans programs saw increased marks over the FY 2009 budget. Indian Health Service (IHS) funding was increased by $471 million to $4.1 billion and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funding was increased by $183 million to $2.6 billion.
The bill includes $30 million for law enforcement to strengthen police programs, detention center operations and Tribal courts and added $144 million more than FY 2009 levels for Indian Health Service contract support costs.
In other Interior spending, $2.8 billion was allocated for the National Park Service, $1.6 billion for Fish and Wildlife and $2.8 billion for non-firefighting programs with the U.S. Forest Service.
The bill also gives $10.6 billion to the EPA including $160 million more in earmarks for water and sewer projects.
The legislation now moves to the full House Appropriations Committee where it is scheduled to mark up the measure on June 18.
The full House hopes to bring this bill to a vote on either June 25 or 26.