Environment takes big hit in gov't budget cuts
The recently passed 2011 budget deal takes aim at many environmental initiatives and splits both parties on the final vote.
Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM
NO FUN(D): Despite tensions over the deal to fund the U.S. government for the rest of the fiscal year, legislation ultimately passed both houses of Congress. (Photo: thisisbossi/Flickr)
The recently passed budget deal for the rest of fiscal year 2011has a lot to criticize from both sides of the isle. When examining the compromise legislation, it becomes clear that pro-environmental policy takes a big hit. The EPA's budget gets cut by 16 percent and these cuts are aimed at pollution regulations for businesses. Furthermore, high-speed rail and other infrastructure funds are stripped away. Some congressmen were even able to get a rider through that takes a wolf species off the endangered species list. This deal also leaves in place the oil subsidies that go to some of the richest corporations on earth.
Congressman Scott Rigell voted against the final legislation, while Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner voted in favor of the compromise. Congressman Rob Wittman also cast a "yes" vote, and the bill passed on a bipartisan vote in both houses.
While this bill has a lot of cuts in environmental programs, the deal was obviously placed in a larger context of a looming government shutdown. The deal also lacked some of the harsher riders contained in the original House bill such as forbidding the EPA's ability to regulate carbon emissions.
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