The House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill Tuesday evening that would begin the process of cutting the Environmental Protection Agency's budget while keeping intact vital environmental programs.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., the panel's chairman, said the bill "prioritizes critical programs that protect our air land and water within a tight budget while also reining in burdensome regulations."
The panel voted 30-21 to pass the $31.4 billion spending bill that would fund both EPA and the Interior Department, as well as other programs. The bill now goes to the House floor for a vote, which is expected before lawmakers adjourn for the August recess next week.
The bill cuts the EPA's budget by $528 million for fiscal 2018 in relation to its 2017 budget level. But the cuts were far less than President Trump had proposed. Trump proposed slashing the EPA budget by well over 31 percent. The House bill would shave it by just 6.5 percent.
The Interior Department's funding would also get a 7 percent trim, with cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey.