Robust funding for environment and natural resources stewardship is critical to keeping our 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 House budget resolution, for instance, cut discretionary spending on the environment and natural resources by $2.85 billion, more than 9 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 invest in clean water infrastructure, 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 March 17, 2005, the House approved the budget resolution by a 218-214 vote (House roll call vote 88). NO is the pro-environment vote.