Published on January 14th, 2014 | by Jeremy Bloom0
Budget agreement – GOP backs down on environmental hits
We finally have a budget agreement.
After years of partisan bickering and the GOP pushing the Federal Government into shutdown, lawmakers agreed on a compromise proposal that now goes to the House and Senate for final approval.
Not in the bill: 134 of the GOP’s ransom demands, including some ugly environmental provisions:
- Stripping the Environmental Protection Agency o the ability to regulate greenhouse gases
- Reversal of clean water regulations
But it’s not all good news. Other mindless provisions did make it in, including
- No money for high-speed rail.
- No standard for energy-efficient light bulbs (not that big a deal, since industry has already moved on)
- Cutting a new regulation on livestock and poultry
High-speed rail may be out, but there’s money for transportation infrastructure (“TIGER” grants) - $600 million, a $100 million increase (which still seems like chump change, but…)
There’s plenty of money for the military - $572.6 billion (although that’s $20 billion less than the GOP had been pushing for). Good news: Some of that is for climate change and alternative energy research (although research and development overall take a big hit).
It ends the disastrous sequester.
And despite BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!, US embassy construction and security gets cut, too - down by $224 million.
It’s expected that many deep Tea Party conservatives will still oppose the bill, but between House Democrats and sane Republicans there should be enough votes to pass it.