The Senate passed the 2001 Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 4578) on Tuesday, July 18 by a vote of 97 to 2.

The full Senate initially took up the 2001 Interior appropriations bill the afternoon of Monday July 10 for general debate. No amendments were considered before the Senate turned to other matters.

On July 11, agreement was reached on a closed list of amendments for the Interior bill containing about 100 amendments.

On Wednesday, July 12, the Senate considered the 2001 Interior bill for most of the day. Several amendments were considered and disposed of, including the following:

  • Urban/Wildland Fire. The Senate adopted by a voice vote a Sen. Domenici amendment providing $120.3 million for BLM and $120 million for USFS for fuels treatment in the urban/wildland interface. The amendment includes legislative language requiring the agencies to report on urban/wildland fire threats. The language also authorizes various contracting authorities.

  • Indian Gaming Procedures. By a voice vote, the Senate adopted a Sen. Sessions amendment prohibiting publication by the Secretary of class III gaming procedures to resolve State-Tribal disputes during 2001. A similar amendment was defeated by a vote of 167 to 205 during House consideration of the Interior bill.

  • PILT. The Senate adopted a Sen. Thomas amendment increasing PILT by $3 million, to $148 million, offset from BLM operations.

  • Atlantic Salmon. The Senate adopted a Sen. Collins amendment providing $5 million to the Fish and Wildlife Service, to be provided to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Atlantic salmon projects.

  • Everglades Grant. The Senate adopted a Sen. Gorton amendment to increase the Everglades restoration grant to the State of Florida to $12 million, from $10 million, to be funded within the NPS LWCF total.

  • Grazing. The Senate defeated by a vote of 38 to 62 a Sen. Durbin motion to strike section 116, which requires automatic renewal of expiring grazing permits that do not complete NEPA review during 2001.

The Senate returned to consideration of the bill on Monday afternoon, July 17. During the course of the day, it debated the following amendments:

  • Reed (R.I.). Increase weatherization program by $8 million, offset by a bill wide reduction in travel and administrative overhead.

  • Thomas. Defer changes in NPS snowmobile rules, pending a study.

  • Bryan. Reduce USFS timber sales program, redirect part of reduction to fuels treatment planning.

  • Leiberman. Home heating fuel reserve.

  • Nickles. Prohibit creation of new national monuments or expansion of existing national monuments after July 17, 2000, unless approved by Congress.

The Thomas amendment was withdrawn after debate. The other amendments were considered in stacked votes Tuesday morning July 18. The Bryan and Nickles amendments were defeated and the Reed and Lieberman amendments passed.

Three other amendments were introduced July 18: Boxer on pesticides, Bond second degree amendment to the Boxer amendment (which passed), and Bingaman sense of the Senate amendment on Ramah judgment fund repayment (which passed). In addition the manager introduced two more amendments that passed, one directing the Secretary of Interior to enter into a land exchange with the Dubuque Barge Company and one increasing funding for NPS construction.