October 3, 2000
H.R. 4578 - DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND
The purpose of this statement is to provide the Administration's views on
the conference version of H.R. 4578, the Department of the Interior and
Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, FY 2001.
RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, FY 2001
(Sponsors: Gorton (R), Washington; Regula (R), Ohio)
The Administration is pleased that the House and Senate conferees provided
critical funding in the Interior appropriations bill for cleaner water,
energy security, Native Americans, and the Arts, and agreed to drop
objectionable riders that threatened serious harm to our environment. The
bill also provides support for a number of other major Administration
priorities. The bill expands funding for weatherization of low-income
homes and research into energy efficiency saving consumers money and
reducing our dependence on oil, and finances a Regional Home Heating
Reserve for the Northeast. It also provides a significant increase in
funding for much needed assistance to Native Americans on issues such as
school construction, law enforcement, and health care. In addition, the
bill increases protection for the environment through funding for the Clean
Water Action Plan, and provides the first funding increase for the National
Endowment for the Arts since FY 1996.
While the bill does not completely fulfill all of the Administration's
objectives, we applaud the effort that Congress has made to address the
bill's shortcomings and urge the House to pass this legislation.
By doubling our investment next year in land and water conservation, and
guaranteeing even more funding in the years ahead, this agreement is a
major step toward ensuring communities the resources they need to protect
their most precious lands -- from neighborhood parks to threatened farmland
to pristine coastal areas.