Don't let Bush cut bay programLet's take a trip down memory lane:
Roanoke Times editorial
One redeeming virtue of this year's five-year Farm Bill is the $188 million Congress included to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Now President Bush wants to take the money away for fiscal year 2009.
He sent a revised budget request over to Capitol Hill recently that would cut $23 million from the program.
Congress overrode a Bush veto to pass the massive reauthorization bill in June, and it should ignore White House tinkering now.
The Chesapeake Bay is dying ... (link)
The Bush administration in February proposed a budget that would slash numerous Chesapeake-related initiatives below funding levels approved by Congress for the current year.
Programs that help to fund wastewater treatment plant upgrades and oyster restoration would be among the hardest hit by the proposed cuts. And some popular initiatives, such as the Small Watershed Grants Program and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network would have their funding eliminated under the spending plan.
“This budget would provide less money for the Bay’s most important programs,” said Ann Jennings, Virginia executive director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “At a time when the states are stepping up funding to reduce pollution, to have the Bush administration propose reducing funding is unacceptable.”
Was this written last week? Last month? How about two years ago. That "cut" was coming to George Bush's 2007 budget.
And the dirty little secret?
For most programs, the administration’s 2007 budget actually seeks similar levels to those it had requested for the present year. Yet Bay-related initiatives ended up with far more money than the administration sought because of additions, known as earmarks, by Congress.
Typically, administrations ignore those earmarks when developing their budgets for the following year, even for programs specifically authorized by Congress. For instance, the legislation authorizing the EPA’s Bay Program also specifically created the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program. No administration has ever included finding for the program in its budget, but Congress has added it each year. [my emphasis]
Ever wonder how Republican administrations are accused of slashing this budget allocation and that budget allocation, while, at the same time, the federal budget has mushroomed to $3,100,000,000,000?
And this little tidbit gives you an idea of what a "cut" is:
The president wants to increase funding to $35 million for EPA programs to clean up diesel engines, up from $7 million in 2006. He also would provide $29 million to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and $35 million to help clean up harmful industrial pollutants in the sediments of the Great Lakes.
That was a year ago. The president "would provide $29 million to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed." $29 million. And the 2009 budget? President Bush is criticized for wanting to "cut" funding to a paltry $165 million. That's a 469 percent increase over the prior year!
Only in liberal la la land is that a cut. Don't buy it for a minute.