Idaho's Rep. Simpson cuts at environmental budgets

Idaho StatesmanJuly 8, 2011 

The GOP-drafted bill would limit protections of bighorn sheep, end new funding to list endangered species and cut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by nearly one-third.

The wide-ranging legislation was approved Thursday by the House Interior and the Environment Appropriations Subcommittee under the chairmanship of Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

The bill cuts 2012 spending for the Department of the Interior, the EPA and related agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, by $2.1 billion from this year’s budget.

Whether any of the riders proposed by Simpson and other Republicans survive — or the 12 percent in extra cuts the bill lops off President Barack Obama’s budget — may be decided in the deficit-reduction talks ongoing between Obama and congressional leaders.

“I don’t know how they will affect the 2012 budget,” Simpson said Thursday. “Maybe we’ll have to come back with another bill.”

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