Conferees met to complete work on the 2002 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill on October 10, 2001, and filed a conference report on Thursday, October 11, 2001. House and Senate floor action are expected to occur very soon.
In total, the Interior bill provides $19.1 billion, compared to the $18.7 billion Senate bill and the $18.9 billion House-passed bill. The conference bill is $185.9 million or one percent over the 2001 enacted level of $18.9 billion and $1.0 billion or 5.6 percent over the 2002 President's budget request of $18.1 billion. The bill provides a total of $2.2 billion for Interior and Forest Service to implement the National Wildland Fire Plan, including $400.0 million in contingent emergency funding.
For the Department of the Interior, the conference bill provides $9.4 billion. This is $268.7 million or 2.9 percent above the President's budget, and $48.8 million or 0.5 percent above the 2001 enacted level. The 2001 enacted level includes $72.4 million in supplemental funding. Excluding this supplemental funding from the comparison, the 2002 conference bill is $121.2 million or 1.3 percent above the 2001 enacted funding level.
For the priorities requested in the President's budget, the conference bill provides the following:
A comparison of funding levels in the conference bill for bureaus is provided as Attachment 1. Attachment 2 provides a comparison of key numbers in the conference mark.
The conferees provided $9.0 million for endangered species listing, an increase of $524,000 above the President's request, and adopted House language establishing a separate spending 'subcap' for critical habitat designation. This differs from bill language proposed in the President's budget to allow FWS to expend listing funds to comply with existing court orders and according to a biologically-based priority system.
The bill includes $1.32 billion for the Conservation Spending Category. This is $112 million more than last year and $62 million more than the President's request. Within this amount there is a total of $1.0 billion for Interior programs, including:
A summary of funding for CSC is provided in Attachment 3.
The conferees fund Payments in Lieu of Taxes at $210.0 million, $60.0 million above the President's request of $150.0 million.
The conference bill funds Departmental Management at $67.7 million. At this funding level, the $9.0 million cut made in House floor action is restored, and an increase of $3.6 million over the
President's budget is provided for fixed costs.
The conferees agree to funding increases for operational programs, including:
The conferees agreed on a two-year extension, through 2004, of the Recreation Fee Demonstration program.