Senate Appropriations Committee releases draft FY13 Interior Appropriations Bill

On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft FY13 Interior Appropriations bill funding programs at EPA, DOI and the USDA Forest Service. The Senate draft includes similar funding levels for many NASF priority programs when compared to the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this summer (view comparison). A vote was never scheduled on the House floor this year on the committee-passed version of the FY13 Interior Appropriations bill.

The Senate draft will likely be conferenced with the version of the bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee if/when both chambers complete their work on an Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. In the absence of Congress passing an Interior Appropriations bill during the lame duck (or possibly into the next Congress), federal agencies—including the Forest Service—will continue to operate under a continuing resolution through March 27, 2013. Funding for the Forest Service and other federal agencies beyond that point is unknown at this time.