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Senate committee approves Interior spending bill

Cara J

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On Thursday last week, the Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously approved a $32.6 billion Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year (FY) 2019 (S. 3073) Only one amendment was adopted during the markup session, which included a provision that directs the Interior Department and Forest Service to maintain updated five-year deferred maintenance plans. Committee members did not offer any other new amendments to the introduced bill. The legislation also largely rejects many of the spending cuts in the president’s proposed FY2019 budget. The spending bill will now move out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote. The Senate has not voted on a stand-alone Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies spending bill since 2010. “It is time to return to regular order where we vote appropriations bills out of committee with bipartisan support and take them to the floor,” said Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in her opening statement. “I look forward to moving the Interior bill through the process in a fashion which allows all members of the Senate to have an opportunity to debate the bill and offer amendments.” The bill provides the Interior [...]

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