On June 28th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the 2002 Interior bill after adopting a managers' amendment. Subcommittee action took place yesterday morning. Floor action on the Senate bill is expected after the July 4th recess.

The bill, as reported out of Committee, provides $9.359 billion for Department of the Interior programs. This is $52.5 million below the House mark of $9.412 billion, and is $191.9 million above the President's budget and $127.8 below the 2001 enacted level.

The Senate bill restores funding for wildlife grant programs, Abandoned Mine Reclamation Grants, Payments in Lieu of Taxes, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

For the priorities requested in the President's budget, the Senate provided the following:

  • $154.0 million for LWCF State Grants, the same level as the House provided, and $296.0 million below the President's budget request.

  • $60.0 million, as requested, for Landowner Incentive and Stewardship Grants. As the House did, the Senate funded these in separate accounts.

  • $435.5 million for the NPS backlog, a reduction of $3.6 million from the House mark and $4.2 million below the President's budget request.

  • $20.0 million for the NPS Natural Resource Challenge, consistent with the President's budget.

  • $295.5 million, or $3 million more than the House and the budget request, for Bureau of Indian Affairs education construction. This $122.8 million for six replacement schools (the same as the House and the President's budget) and $3 million added for the school construction demonstration program.

  • $545.1 million for BIA education programs, an increase of $2.0 million above the House mark and the President's budget request. The $2.0 million increase is for tribal community colleges.

  • $60.9 million for Indian land and water settlements, the same as the House mark and as requested in the President's budget.

The Senate did not adopt language proposed in the President's budget for Endangered Species Listing nor did they accept the House proposal for a subcap. The Senate added $524,000, raising the amount for Listing to $9.0 million.

The Senate bill includes $1.308 billion for the Conservation Spending Category compared to $1.32 billion funded by the House and $82 .3 million over the President's budget.

The Senate mark increases funding over the House funding level for land management agency operating accounts including additional funding for pay costs. Compared to the House, the Senate mark increases funding for land management agency construction and land acquisition accounts while decreasing grant programs including the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, and the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program.

The Senate funds Payments in Lieu of Taxes at $220.0 million compared to the House mark of $200.0 million and the President's budget request of $150.0 million.

The Senate restored the $9.0 million cut made on the House Floor to Departmental Management (DM) and added $3.4 million for DM fixed Costs. The Senate also included language in the Office of Special Trustee indicating that funding is provided for an historical accounting.

We will be issuing a full summary of Senate Committee markup including the managers amendments.