Summary: Senate Committee Action on the FY 2002 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

The 2002 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 28, 2001, totals $18.7 billion, as compared to the $18.9 billion House-passed bill. The Senate bill includes $235.0 million that is designated as emergency funding. This includes $70.0 million in BLM's Wildland Fire Account for wildfire suppression ($50.0 million) and burned area rehabilitation ($20.0 million), and $165.0 million in Forest Service's Wildland Fire Management Account.

The Senate bill provides $9.4 billion for Department of the Interior programs. This is $47.4 million below the House mark, $206.1 million above the President's budget, and $113.6 million below the 2001 enacted level. For the most part the Senate bill follows the same overall approach as the House mark, restoring funding for wildlife grant programs, Abandoned Mine reclamation grants, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The Senate mark increases funding over the House level for land management agency operating accounts, providing additional funding for pay costs. Compared to the House, the Senate mark increases funding for land management agency construction and land acquisition accounts and Payments in Lieu of Taxes 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.

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

  • $164.0 million for LWCF State Grants, $10.0 million more than the House, and $286.0 million below the President's budget request.

  • $60.0 million, as requested in the President's budget, for Landowner Incentive and Stewardship Grants. As the House did, the Senate funds these in separate accounts.

  • $435.5 million for the NPS backlog, a reduction of $390,000 from the House mark and $4.2 million below the President's budget request.

  • $20.0 million in additional funding for the NPS Natural Resource Challenge, consistent with the President's budget and the House mark.

  • $295.5 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs education construction, $3.0 million more than the House and the budget request. This includes $122.8 million for six replacement schools (the same as the House and the President's budget). The $3.0 million increase is 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 the same as requested in the President's budget.

  • $24.5 million for energy programs including an increase of $14.7 million for BLM and $9.8 million for MMS' Outer Continental Shelf program.

A comparison of House and Senate Committee funding levels for bureaus is provided as Attachment 1. Attachment 2 provides a comparison of key numbers.

The Senate does not adopt language proposed in the President's budget for Endangered Species Listing nor does the Senate accept the House proposal for a subcap. The Senate increases funding for the Listing program by $524,000 over the House level and the President's budget level, raising the amount for Listing to $9.0 million.

The Senate bill includes $1.32 billion for the Conservation Spending Category, the same as the House, and $64.0 million above the amount requested in the President's budget. A summary of funding for the House and Senate Committee allowances for CSC is provided in Attachment 3.

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

The Senate Committee reported the bill on June 28, 2001 by roll call vote. Approval of the Committee bill came after adoption of a managers' amendment incorporating 26 changes that are addressed in this summary. Senate Subcommittee action was completed the morning of June 28, the bill was reported out by voice vote. Senate Floor action is expected to occur after the July 4th recess.

For more details on funding levels and legislative provisions, click here. (PDF Format)