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The House Appropriations Committee on February 10 postponed the release of a continuing resolution spending bill to fund government operations for the rest of FY 2011 because it wants to propose $100 billion in cuts to President Obama's FY 2011 budget request instead of the $74 billion announced on February 9. Under the scenarios being looked at by the committee, EPA could be in line for steep cuts to a number of its programs. EPA and other government agencies have been operating on a continuing resolution at FY 2010 levels. The upcoming continuing resolution would replace the current temporary spending resolution (H.R. 3082), which expires March 4. Congress must come up with a spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends September 30.

 

On February 9, however, the House Appropriations Committee released partial details of its plan to make steep cuts in federal funding for the rest of FY 2011, including spending for EPA programs and renewable energy and energy efficiency. The committee indicated it would trim the $10.02 billion request for EPA by at least $2.64 billion, which would leave the agency's budget at about $7.38 billion, or nearly 28 percent below the $10.3 billion spending level approved for EPA in FY 2010. EPA and other government agencies have been operating on a continuing resolution at FY 2010 levels.

 

The partial list of spending cuts released by the committee included $1.6 billion from the requested level for a number of unspecified EPA programs. In addition, the committee wants to trim the president's $2 billion request for the clean water state revolving loan fund (SRF) program by $700 million, which would leave the program at about $1.3 billion. The agency received $2.1 billion in FY 2010 for the SRF program. The committee also would cut $250 million from the drinking water state revolving loan fund request of $1.3 billion, resulting in a FY 2011 budget of $1.05 billion. Funding for this program was $1.4 billion in FY 2010. The committee also would cut Obama's $2.3 billion request for Energy Department programs for renewable energy and energy efficiency by $899 million, leaving those programs at a little under $1.5 billion for FY 2011. Those programs were funded at a little more than $2.2 billion in FY 2010.

 

The list released on February 9 also includes a $27 million cut for the U.S. Geological Survey compared with the President's budget request for FY 2011. President Obama proposed increasing the USGS budget by $21.6 million to $1.133 billion in FY 2011. The USGS budget would be approximately $5.4 million below the President's budget request for FY 2011 and approximately $16.2 million above the FY 2010 enacted level of $1.112 billion.