WASHINGTON (December 10, 2013) – House and Senate budget leaders reached an important bipartisan agreement today that deserves approval by Congress because it would alleviate some of the indiscriminate domestic spending cuts that already have curbed health and environmental protections, and safe drinking water programs Americans depend on.
Following is a statement by Scott Slesinger, legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“The deal announced today would provide some relief for the beleaguered federal environmental programs, which have had to withstand numerous reductions, including the arbitrary, mid-year cuts from sequestration, and for the agencies that were facing significant additional cutbacks. Without this deal, funding for nondefense discretionary programs within the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Interior would have been 18 percent below 2010 levels, adjusted for inflation. This deal means the public will have greater environmental protection, better parks and more modernized sewage and water facilities.
“Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) deserves credit for her persistence in working to block cutbacks and for her commitment to the environment. Chairman Ryan (R-WI) made the right choice for our country by ignoring extreme voices in his party to reach an agreement.”