House Republicans slammed President Obama's proposed budget Tuesday morning, with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell in the hot seat.
GOP lawmakers said they were not impressed by the Department of Interior's $14 billion proposed budget, as the House Natural Resources Committee reviewed the agency's budget in a hearing Tuesday. Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said the budget "rewards friends, punishes enemies, listens to some and not to others."
He told Jewell and Democrats on the committee that defending the budget would be a spin worthy of a circus.
"Your spin is going to be the envy of every Las Vegas contortionist because this budget could have been a blueprint for future cooperation," he said, "and instead I think it's a blueprint for future partisan bickering. It's not what it could have been and I feel bad about that."
Other Republicans on the committee hit Jewell for the budget's reduction of oil and gas tax credits and the increase of coal mining royalties to pay for renewable energy development and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., said the policies listed in the budget would harm her state's budget.
"You're destroying my state's economy and I'm not exaggerating," Lummis said.
"The policies you have initiated regarding to jacking up coal, oil and gas royalties ... There were coal miner job reductions in every month in 2015."
Jewell said the decline in jobs in the energy sector, especially coal, were the work of market forces and not the result of the Obama administration's regulations.
"Oil, gas and coal are tied to commodity prices, and you also have a situation in the case of coal where natural gas has become a competitor to coal," she said.
While many Democrats on the committee had their own concerns about the budget, namely the amount of money to help prevent drought in the West, they mostly supported Jewell and her department.
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said Republicans were being hypocritical in their criticisms without providing solutions.
"House Republicans have no budget of their own and can't seem to pass individual appropriations bills," he said. "But that doesn't stop them from having loud opinions about the administration's proposals."