Senate Committee Approves FY24 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill

Bill passes Committee by a vote of 28-0

Washington, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, providing support for tribal programs, National Parks, public lands, and federal efforts to suppress wildfires.

The measure, which was advanced by a bipartisan vote of 28-0, provides $42.695 billion in discretionary funding, including $2.650 billion in wildland fire suppression funding.

“This bill provides critical resources for an array of initiatives, from programs geared toward providing clean drinking water and wastewater assistance to those that support the conservation and management of our national parks and public lands.  The legislation also funds important tribal programs and wildfire suppression,” said Senator Collins.  “Under such challenging fiscal restraints, I thank Ranking Member Murkowski for her work in producing a bipartisan bill, and as the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for this funding as the appropriations process moves forward.”

“I’m proud to advance legislation that is focused on providing access to clean drinking water in Alaska,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.  “I worked to direct significant support to underserved and unserved communities in Alaska, and I’m glad to see we are one step closer to ensuring communities like Mekoryuk and Chefornak have running water and wastewater collection for the first time.  This bill also will expand access to public lands, invest in wildfire mitigation efforts, clean up contaminated lands, and support Native communities and cultures.  One of the state’s top priorities was also funded: spending directed to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to respond to the crisis in salmon declines while also researching and monitoring changes to the health of the salmon environments.  I look forward to the full Senate considering and passing this important bill.”

Bill Highlights:

Department of the Interior: $15.6 billion for supporting management of National Parks, Refuges, and Forests, conservation and energy development on public lands and waters, and tribal trust responsibilities.

  • National Park Service: $3.46 billion to support our nation’s parks and to preserve historic sites.
  • Indian Affairs (BIA and BIE): $4.03 billion, including increases for important social service programs, public safety and justice initiatives, education programs, and construction.  Contract support costs (CSC) and tribal lease payments are fully funded.
  • Office of Wildland Fire: $1.466 billion for wildland fire management, including $350 million in the Wildfire Suppression Operations Reserve Fund and $247 million for hazardous fuels management.
  • Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT): The bill fully funds PILT to provide communities in 49 states and in the territories compensation for lost tax revenues resulting from federal land ownership within their jurisdiction.

Environmental Protection Agency: $9.9 billion in grants and program funding, including $4.5 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants. 

U.S. Forest Service: $8.34 billion, including $2.21 billion in the Wildfire Suppression Operations Reserve Fund and $207 million for fuels reduction.

Indian Health Services: $7.2 billion, which includes additional funding for staffing packages, Contract Support Costs (CSC), and tribal leases. 

Smithsonian Institution: $1.09 billion, including additional funding for the American Women’s History Museum and National Museum of the American Latino. 

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): Each Endowment receives $207 million, equal to enacted levels.