Robust funding for environment and natural resources stewardship is critical to keeping air and water clean, protecting public lands, and safeguarding fish and wildlife. Unfortunately, the fiscal year 2006 budgets proposed by the Bush Administration and endorsed by congressional leaders made substantial cuts to environmental programs.
The final budget resolution conference report, for instance, cut discretionary spending on environment and natural resource programs by $3.3 billion, more than 10 percent below the previous year’s levels. By 2010, funding levels for these programs would be 21 percent below the level needed to maintain current activities. Among the hardest hit are the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as programs to
clean up water, protect oceans and coasts, and conserve agricultural lands. The resolution also allowed the Arctic Refuge to be opened up for drilling through a fast-track budget reconciliation bill.
On April 28, 2005, the Senate passed the budget resolution conference report by a 52-47 vote (Senate roll call vote 114). NO is the pro-environment vote.