The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget would be slashed to its lowest level since 1991 in a spending bill approved by the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee Wednesday.

The committee approved the bill on a party-line vote after hearing from Republicans who said the steep reductions are necessary to address ballooning federal deficits, and Democrats who decried the cuts as harmful to the nation’s environment, environmental justice initiatives and ultimately, Americans’ health.

EPA’s budget would be cut by nearly $4 billion, or 39%, from its fiscal 2023 spending level of $10.1 billion. The $6.173 billion would be the lowest for the agency since 1991.

Some provisions welcomed by agricultural trade groups are in the bill, but unlikely to survive the full appropriations process once the Senate enters the picture. The legislation would repeal the WOTUS rule and prevent EPA from issuing final regulations setting conditions on the use of rodenticides. It also would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from implementing a proposal to elevate the role of conservation in management of BLM lands.

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers recently said they would rewrite their “waters of the U.S.” rule by Sept. 1 to comply with the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision.

It’s easy to sign up for a FREE month of Agri-Pulse news! For the latest on what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and around the country in agriculture, just click here.

The committee report accompanying the bill also directs EPA to rewrite its plant-incorporated protectants rule issued in May. The PIPs rule was roundly criticized by seed, grower and biotechnology groups that said its requirements are too onerous.

Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, conceded the bill is “not pretty." He said the EPA cuts in particular would “cause some heartburn for some people,” but he called the reductions necessary.

The bill would rescind Inflation Reduction Act funding of $1.353 billion in environmental justice grants and $7.765 billion for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees grazing, would see a $188 million, or 13.7%, reduction from its fiscal 2023 spending level of about $1.37 billion. The $1.18 billion allotted to BLM in the bill also would be 21% less than the $1.497 billion requested by the Biden administration.

“You cannot intentionally kneecap an agency and then turn around and complain that the agency is not running well,” said Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev.

An attempt by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, to remove 47 different “poison pill riders,” including the WOTUS language and a requirement that the Fish and Wildlife Service delist the gray wolf, failed on a party-line vote, as did other Democratic amendments to strike the environmental justice and other rescissions.

For more news, go to