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Shadegg fiscal responsibility amendment passes!

Congressional Green Sheets Environment and Energy Daily Report

MAY 11, 2000


The House adopted three spending-process amendments but otherwise turned back attempts to alter major conservation legislation during debate Wednesday.

The House today resumes consideration of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (HR 701/HR 4377) after working past midnight Wednesday on amendments to the bill.

The bill would dedicate more than $3 billion annually from federal offshore oil and gas receipts for impact aid to coastal states and to beef up land acquisition and state fish and game programs.

The bill, introduced by House Resources Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska), has produced an unusual alliance between Young and his ranking Democrat, Rep. George Miller (Calif.), while pitting Young against his usual allies, private property rights advocates.

The bill also has drawn opposition from some lawmakers concerned about the creation of a new mandatory spending program.

During Wednesday's session, the House:

-- adopted by voice vote a bipartisan amendment negotiated among key bill co-sponsors and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) addressing concerns that the bill might include incentives for new oil and gas drilling.

-- defeated by 317-109 an amendment by Appropriations interior subcommittee Chairman Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) to revise the coastal impact aid formula so that those states that currently allow offshore drilling would receive the majority of the impact aid.

-- defeated by 273-153 an amendment by Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) to require that the Conservation and Reinvestment Fund set up by the bill provide the full amount authorized for payments in lieu of taxes and refuge revenue sharing, if appropriators did not provide full funding.

-- defeated by 315-109 an amendment by Republican Reps. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) and Richard Pombo (Calif.) to wipe out federal Land and Water Conservation Fund expenditures and distribute the money among the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Act program, the farmland protection program and the endangered and threatened species recovery program.

-- adopted by voice vote an amendment by Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) to explicitly state that the funding provided under HR 4377 is intended to supplement annual appropriations for the National Park Service.

-- adopted by 216-208 an amendment by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) to require that, before OCS receipts could be put into the main fund established by the bill, the Congressional Budget Office certify that Congress was on track to eliminate all publicly held debt by 2013; that there was not an on-budget deficit; and the appropriate trustees certified that neither Social Security nor Medicare would run a deficit within the next five years.

-- defeated by 265-160 an amendment by Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage (R-Idaho) to prohibit any CARA funds to establish or manage any national monument designated after 1995 under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

-- defeated by 253-171 an amendment by Pombo to ensure that private property owners' use and enjoyment of their property would not be diminished if they became neighbors of the federal government as a result of the bill.

-- adopted by voice vote an amendment by Regula to require that states have a dedicated state land acquisition fund before receiving CARA funding; money originally earmarked for states that did not have such accounts would be reapportioned to states that did. Young and Miller agreed to accept the amendment with the stipulation that they would work with Regula to find language that would take into account different state funding mechanisms. Young said that Alaska's constitution forbade creation of dedicated funds.

The House debated -- and postponed recorded votes until this morning on amendments:

-- by Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) to require that all federal land purchases funded by CARA be located within federal land boundaries established before CARA was enacted -- limiting purchases to so-called "inholdings."

-- by Rep. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) to make spending under the bill through fiscal 2006 (the length of the current budget resolution) discretionary (subject to the Appropriations committees) rather than mandatory.

-- by Chenoweth-Hage to delete a provision that would grant impact aid funds to a county in California, though that county would not receive impact assistance under the formula set out in the bill.

-- by Reps. Richard "Doc" Hastings (R-Wash.) and Regula to require that half of the $450 million federal share of LWCF funding be used to maintain and manage lands already owned by the federal government.

-- by New York Republican Reps. John Sweeney and John McHugh to give local governments the option to object to projects listed under state and federal land acquisition plans under the LWCF.

-- by Republican Reps. Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Greg Walden (Ore.) to require that before the federal government purchased land under CARA, in states where 50 percent or more of the land was federally owned, the government either dispose of an equal amount of land or receive approval through enactment of a specific state law.

Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) did not offer his amendment to split the stateside LWCF money in half -- $225 million would be divided equally among the states, and the other half would be divided among the states based on the number of species listed as threatened or endangered in each state.

Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) did not offer his amendment to allow states to use their LWCF money for maintenance and capital improvements.

Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) offered, then withdrew, his amendment -- to establish a sediment and nutrient monitoring network in the Upper Mississippi River Basin to reduce sediment and nutrient losses from surrounding lands -- after a colloquy in which Young pledged his cooperation with Kind on legislation he has introduced on the issue.

An additional eight amendments remain to be considered today.

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