Budget agreement – GOP backs down on environmental hits

  • Published on January 14th, 2014

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.

Next up: The debt ceiling, once again.

About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.