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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Carol Hardy Vincent, Coordinator
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for agencies within other departments—including the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service (IHS) within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other entities.

The President initially requested $32.43 billion for FY2011 for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, a $136.3 million (0.4%) increase over the FY2010 level of $32.29 billion. Despite the relative stability of this total funding, the President sought increases for some agencies and decreases for other agencies. Based on the President’s initial request, among the proposed increases for FY2011, over FY2010 appropriations, were the following: 

  • $354.1 million (9%) for the Indian Health Service; 
  • $79.4 million (1%) for the Forest Service; 
  • $36.2 million (5%) for the Smithsonian Institution; and 
  • $21.6 million (2%) for the U.S. Geological Survey.
Among the proposed decreases were the following: 
  • $269.9 million (3%) for the Environmental Protection Agency; 
  • $53.6 million (2%) for the Bureau of Indian Affairs; 
  • $25.8 million (14%) for the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians; and 
  • $16.7 million (10%) for the Office of Surface Mining. 
Actions subsequent to the President’s initial request have affected funding levels for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Most notably, on September 13, 2010, the President requested additional funding to facilitate the reorganization of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE)—formerly the Minerals Management Service (MMS). The President’s current request for BOEMRE is $222.9 million, an $86.4 million increase over the FY2010 MMS appropriation.

No regular appropriations bill to fund Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies for FY2011 was enacted before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010. Consequently, on September 30, 2010, President Obama signed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 111-242). The law generally continues funds for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies at FY2010 levels, through December 3, 2010.

Congress typically considers a variety of funding and policy issues during consideration of each year’s appropriations legislation. These issues have included energy development onshore and offshore, wildland fire fighting, Indian trust fund management, royalty relief, climate change, DOI science programs, and wild horse and burro management. Other issues have included the appropriate funding levels for Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement and education; Indian Health Service construction and contract health services; wastewater/drinking water needs; the arts; land acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and the Superfund program. This report will be updated to reflect major congressional action. 

Date of Report: October 27, 2010
Number of Pages: 60
Order Number: R41258
Price: $29.95

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