House Republicans Pushing Cuts To EPA, Wildlife, And The Arts

All the things they don’t like?

The draft legislation (PDF), which will face committee hearings starting Tuesday, slashes the fiscal 2014 budget for the Interior Department and for the EPA by $5.5 billion from existing levels enacted for 2013 — a 19 percent cut that brings base funding down to $24.3 billion. It’s $4 billion below levels already required by sequestration — automatic spending cuts that both parties say are senseless and onerous.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said the bill “reflects the extraordinarily hard choices needed to maintain critical investments and services for local communities,” while “dramatically scaling back lower-priority, or ‘nice-to-have’ programs.”

The proposal reflects the GOP’s opening salvo in what is shaping up to be an ugly battle to keep the government open when funding expires on September 30. Republicans are demanding a swath of new cuts to domestic programs, in part to protect the military budget from long-term spending reductions that the two sides agreed to in 2011.

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Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

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