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NMMA details effect of spending bill on industry

Agencies were spared some cuts, setting the stage for a debate later this year about funding for fiscal 2018.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association released details about the ways a bill funding the federal government through fiscal 2017 will affect the marine industry.

Last week President Donald Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (H.R. 244) after the House and Senate passed it. The measure is a $1.163 trillion spending bill that will keep the government open and funded through Sept. 30.

Earlier this year Trump proposed an overall 10 percent decrease in non-defense spending, which included an 11.7 percent cut to the Department of Interior, a 16.3 percent cut to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a 31.4 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agencies were spared those cuts, setting the stage for a debate later this year about funding for fiscal 2018. The NMMA said its government affairs staff will actively engage in the funding appropriations process as it unfolds on Capitol Hill.

Funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is $5.7 billion, which is $90 million below the fiscal 2016 level. Overall funding for the Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes research program is $192 million.

Although the original plan called for a 12 percent cut for the Interior Department, it is funded at $1.3 million under the plan for fiscal 2017, an increase of $42 million. The agreement includes $1.5 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, representing an $11 million increase. The National Park Service is funded at $2.9 billion, an $81 million increase.

The bill provides $8.06 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a less than 1 percent cut from fiscal 2016 funding.

Trump initially proposed a 30 percent cut to the EPA’s budget, which would have had a significant impact on monitoring point and non-point pollution sources in fresh and salt water, Great Lakes restoration, Chesapeake Bay restoration, invasive species and emission levels and standards.

The bill includes $495 million for the International Trade Administration, a bureau of the Commerce Department — a $2 million increase.

The spending bill provides $5.99 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $535 million from fiscal 2016 and $1.3 billion above Trump’s request.

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