November 18, 2009
Today, during a Full Committee markup, Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee voted against fiscally responsible Republican amendments to ensure that U.S tax dollars are spent appropriately and efficiently.
“We cannot continue passing legislation while ignoring the size of the federal deficit – a staggering $1.4 trillion,”said Ranking Member Doc Hastings. “The funding amounts for these bills may seem like small potatoes, but a whole bunch of small potatoes that affect every policy committee in Congress adds up. We have a responsibility to the taxpayers to not only exercise fiscal restraint, but also ensure that their dollars are being spent properly.”
Ocean, Coastal, and Watershed Education Act (H.R. 3644)
This bill would authorize the National Environmental Literacy Grant Program and the Bay-Watershed Education and Training Regional Program (B-WET) in order to expand coastal, ocean, and watershed education. The bill, as amended, authorizes “such sums as may be necessary” to carry out the programs.
- Cassidy (R-LA) Amendment # 1– Capping Authorization Levels
Record Vote: 11 YEA, 16 NAY (View Roll Call)
In order to protect taxpayer dollars, this amendment would set specific authorization levels for the programs to ensure they receive the proper amount of funding – not more, not less. Specifically, this amendment would cap authorization for the program at FY 2009 levels, directing $9.699 million for B-WET and $8.500 million for the Environmental Literacy Grants.
National Park Service Authorities and Corrections Act of 2009 (H.R. 3804)
- Final Passage of H.R.3644 out of committee
Recorded Vote: 22 YAY, 13 Nay (View Roll Call)
This bill would authorize a ten year extension to the National Park System Advisory Board and the National Park Service Concessions Management Advisory Board, and triple the spending of the Volunteer in Parks program, among other items.
- Bishop (R-UT) Amendment #2 - Ensuring Funds are Used for National Parks
Record Vote: 15 YEA, 20 NAY (View Roll Call)
This amendment would protect against the wasteful spending of tax dollars by ensuring that Volunteer in Parks funds are dedicated for use within the national parks. In the past, park funds may have been used for outside advocacy programs such as the Udall Legacy “Party” Bus Tour.
- Broun (R-GA) Amendment # 1– Eliminating Conflicts of Interest
Record Vote: 15 YEA, 21 NAY (View Roll Call)
This amendment would limit membership on the Advisory Board to those who do not receive money from the Department of the Interior in order to ensure that the Board operates independently. The Advisory Board designates national historic landmarks and has been used by previous Directors of the Park Service for guidance on important decisions with the potential to impact each National Park. This will create an important separation between those who receive federal dollars and those who make decisions regarding how federal dollars are spent.
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