JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A critical, cost saving provision prohibiting funding of the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan (MRERP) was included in the Energy and Water portion of the bipartisan spending package passed by the House that restores overall government spending to 2008 levels, says Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-West Central Mo.) in a press release.
“MRERP was initially created to prevent habitat loss and recover endangered species but has turned into little more than a federally-funded and sanctioned platform for environmental activists who have no regard for our river communities,” Luetkemeyer said. “I am extremely pleased that my House and Senate colleagues saw fit to include this provision in the bill and I look forward to this important piece becoming law.”
Specifically, Luetkemeyer said that his prohibition of the MRERP would send an important and consistent message regarding the gross disparity between funding for environmental efforts and funding for the protection of the thousands of people who live along rivers in Missouri. This amendment was adopted by the House as part of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014 and Luetkemeyer successfully halted funding for MRERP in Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013.
The overall spending plan passed by the House is $164 billion less than the last budget passed by President Bush and includes protections for disabled military retirees and some military spouses from a pension cut set to go into effect in 2015, the release states. Luetkemeyer’s office says the bill, which will be now be considered by the Senate, would reduce the Internal Revenue Service’s budget to 2009 levels and sets Environmental Protection Agency funding at $143 million below 2013 funding levels as part of a 20.4 percent cut, or $2.1 billion, in EPA funding since Republicans won the majority in the House.
“The bill contains no new additional funding for the president’s health-care bill and removes $1 billion from the Obamacare slush fund. It also prohibits funding for any Fast & Furious-type activity and restricts foreign aid to nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority,” Luetkemeyer’s office reports. “Including the cuts contained in this legislation, House Republicans have cut spending four years in a row – the first time that has happened since the Korean War.”