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Archive for the ‘White House’ Category

Each year, the Northeast-Midwest Institute, in conjunction with the bipartisan Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalitions produce a rapid review of the President’s FY2013 budget request to inform the Northeast-Midwest House and Senate Coalitions, states, and other regional partners of the budget’s implications for the Northeast-Midwest region. The full report, which covers more than 70 programs of regional importance, is available here.  Specific program funding numbers will be updated regularly on the Institute’s website.

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Today, the President will release his federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 at 11:15am.  The proposal will outline a spending plan for all federal agencies–and will likely include a series of cuts to reduce the federal deficit.

Early reports indicate that the budget will include $31 million to continue deepening the Delaware River shipping channel.

Congress will likely spend time this week on the Transportation reauthorization package (H.R. 7).  Committees will hold several hearings to scrutinize elements of the Administration’s budget.

Wednesday:

Interior department FY13 budget hearing
House Natural Resources Committee
February 15 — 10am; 1324 Longworth

Federal agency reorganization hearing
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
February 15 — 9:30am; 2154 Rayburn

Thursday:

Interior department FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee
February 16 — 1:30pm; 2359 Rayburn

Energy department FY13 budget hearing
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
February 16 — 9:30am; 366 Dirksen

Friday:

Chincoteague NWR conservation plan hearing
House Natural Resources Committee — Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs Subcommittee
February 17 — 9:30am; 1324 Longworth

Agriculture department FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Agriculture Subcommittee
February 17 — 10am; 2362A Rayburn

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Congress returns from recess this week, and attention will likely turn to trimming the budget and advancing fiscal year 2012 appropriations.  Yesterday, the Energy & Water Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2012 Energy & Water Development spending bill.  The Senate draft — $57 million below enacted FY2011 E&WD numbers — provides $25.549 billion for the US Department of Energy and $4.864 billion for the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The FY12 Agriculture spending bill–nearly $200 million below FY11 figures–would cut the Natural Resources Conservation Service by more than $40 million.

Wednesday:

FY2012 Energy & Water Development, Agriculture Appropriations markup
Senate Appropriations Committee
September 7 — 3pm; 106 Dirksen

Bill reports are here.

Thursday:

President Obama will address a joint session of Congress to deliver a speech on a plan for jobs and the economy. 7pm.

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–Last week, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its guidance to federal agencies for drafting fiscal year 2013 budgets.  Requests submissions are to cut 5% from FY2011 enacted levels — and include an alternative budget that makes additional reductions of 10%.

–The US Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is awarding $848,424 in grants to the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the Conservation Innovation Grants program.  The money will flow through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and support manure management and water quality improvement in the watershed.  Projects in other mid-Atlantic states will receive funding for additional poultry and nutrient management efforts.

–This week, the US Geological Survey released a report that suggests a significant increase in the estimated amount of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale.

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The Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress and the White House averted a shutdown late Friday night when they reached a deal to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2011.  Because they did not have time before the midnight deadline to complete drafting the text for this budget bill, they agreed on another Continuing Resolution to fund the government through next Friday.  This CR cuts an additional $2 billion in spending, primarily from high speed rail programs.  The forthcoming FY11 appropriations bill will likely cut billions more.  Details will be posted as they emerge.

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On Wednesday, the White House released “America’s Great Outdoors:  A Promise to Future Generations,” a report detailing several goals and recommendations for preserving open space and boosting recreation.

On April 16 of last year, President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, encouraging the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a conservation and recreation agenda that addresses challenges facing our natural resources and our connection to the outdoors.

The report was developed following a series of public listening sessions throughout the country.

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Last week, the US House of Representatives introduced H.R. 1, a continuing resolution that would run the federal government for the remaining six months of the 2011 fiscal year (through September).  The previous CR, passed in December, expires March 4.

For the last several days, the House has been debating H.R. 1 and the nearly 600 amendments offered by Representatives.  The bill lays out billions in spending cuts that would affect federal agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year.  A list of proposed cuts is available on the House Appropriations Committee website.

What the CR might mean for the mid-Atlantic:  H.R. 1 proposes several cuts to relevant agency programs, including the National Wildlife Refuge System, Fish & Wildlife Service grants (zeroing out the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund), NOAA operations and research, and EPA clean water programs, i.e. Clean Water State Revolving Funds.  Specifically, H.R. 1 trims EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program by $10 million, the Long Island Sound Study by $4 million, and the National Estuary Program by $5.6 million (all relative to FY10 numbers).

Additionally, Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA) has offered amendment 467 which would prohibit the EPA from implementing the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, which–at the time of this post–had not yet been considered on the House floor.  It is unclear when the House will vote on the full H.R. 1 CR package.

Earlier this week, President Obama released the administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 which will act as a blueprint for commencing discussions in the House on the next set of appropriations bills (see also the Northeast-Midwest Institute’s annual budget analysis).

With respect to mid-Atlantic watersheds, the proposed budget boosts the Chesapeake Bay Program by $17 million over the FY10 enacted amount of $50 million and cuts the National Estuary Program by about $5 million.  The US Department of Agriculture’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative receives a boost of $7 million.

Upon completion of the CR for FY2011, the House will begin work on appropriations bills for FY2012, and additional federal spending cuts–beyond the administration’s proposed cuts–are expected.  A moratorium on earmarks will likely remain in place.

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