The House of Representatives passed the 2006 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill (H.R. 2361) on Thursday evening by a vote of 329 to 89, after defeating a motion to recommit with instructions to add funding for EPA programs by a vote of 191 to 228.

During consideration of the bill, the House adopted several amendments affecting Interior programs, including the following:

  • An amendment to increase PILT by $12 million to a total of $242 million, offset by a reduction of $13 million in Departmental Management. Offered by Mrs. Cubin, Mr. Cannon, Mr. Rahall and Mr. Udall (Colo.) Adopted by a voice vote. An amendment to increase PILT by an additional $4.8 million offered by Mr. Hefley was defeated on a roll call vote of 109 to 311.

  • An amendment by Mrs. Slaughter increasing funding for NEA and NEH by $15 million, offset by a reduction of $8 million in Departmental Management and $7 million in the National Forest System. Adopted by a voice vote.

  • An amendment by Mr. Rahall prohibiting the use of funds for sale or slaughter of wild horses and burros. Adopted by a roll call vote of 249 to 159.

  • An amendment by Mr. Doolittle prohibiting the use of funds for sale of lands acquired incident to acquisition of water rights for the Klamath and Tule Lake NWRs. Adopted by a voice vote.

  • An amendment by Mr. Costa prohibiting use of funds to enter into or renew any concession contract, except a concession contract that includes a provision that requires that merchandise for sale at units of the National Park System be made in the United States or its territories. Adopted by a voice vote.

  • The House also adopted a bill-wide amendment prohibiting use of funds to send more than 50 Federal employees to any single conference occurring outside of the United States.

Amendments defeated during consideration of the bill included:

  • A Peterson amendment to modify the current OCS moratoria to remove restrictions on leasing and development of natural gas resources. Defeated by a roll call vote of 157 to 262.

  • A Hefley amendment to reduce funding in the bill by $291 million. Defeated by a roll call vote of 90 to 326.

Points of order were sustained against several amendments, including:

  • A Pombo amendment to restrict use of funds for unauthorized programs until passage of authorizing legislation. The amendment was ruled to be legislation in an appropriations bill.

  • An amendment by Mr. Istook providing for the Eastern Gulf of Mexico OCS moratorium to not apply if the Energy Information Administration publishes data demonstrating that new imports of crude oil account for more than 2/3ds of U.S. oil consumption.

  • An amendment by Mr. Wu to prohibit use of funds to permit class III gaming on non-reservation Indian land.

Points of order by Mr. Davis (Va.) were sustained against several provisions of the bill pertaining to competitive sourcing and contracting with vendors in formerly timber-dependant communities.