Friday, February 18, 2011

Budget amendment votes: fish yes, horses no

By Pete Kasperowicz - 02/16/11 05:09 PM ET The Hill

The House on Wednesday voted to maintain $7.5 million for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service resource management program that gives grant money to private environmental groups.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said the program's authorization has expired, but yet, "the money just keeps rolling on." McClintock's amendment was rejected in a voice vote.

The House did approve an amendment from Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) that would remove $2 million from the Bureau of Land Management as a way of protesting the Bureau's effort to manage the wild horse population in western states.

Burton criticized the Bureau's practice of transporting horses thousands of miles and keeping them in pens and said the cost of the program has more than tripled in the last 10 years. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) agreed and said the Bureau should control the size of herds through contraception, a less costly alternative.

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) opposed Burton's amendment and said Congress has caused problems by preventing the slaughter of wild horses. But Burton's amendment was approved regardless.

Both amendments were considered as part of H.R. 1, the GOP's FY 2011 spending bill, which the House is considering throughout the week.

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