February 15, 2006 INHOFE VOICES DISPLEASURE WITH PROPOSED EPA BUDGET CUTS AT HEARING CALLS ON EPA TO FIND CUTS THAT WILL WITHSTAND CONGRESSIONAL PROCESS WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, voiced his displeasure with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed budget cuts for the EPA Fiscal Year 2007. Previously, Chairman Inhofe called on Administrator Johnson for a realistic budget during Administrator Johnson’s confirmation hearing and in a letter sent to the EPA last month. The letter calls for cuts to the budget that would withstand the Congressional process. The EPA proposed 2007 budget, however, failed to take into consideration these suggestions. In his opening statement, Chairman Inhofe addressed his concerns to Administrator Johnson: “The Administration has proposed $7.32 billion for the EPA for fiscal year 2007. This is a $310 million cut to the EPA’s budget from the 2006 enacted level. However, this budget includes $199 million in cuts to the clean water SRF and more than $200 million in cuts to regional water programs and other Congressional priorities. These cuts will not be sustained throughout the process. I truly understand that in the current fiscal environment we need to make tough choices. However, I am frustrated by the unrealistic cuts. There are many opportunities to make further cuts that could survive the process that were overlooked by the Administration. “This is disappointing because in addition to my demands at last year’s hearing, I sent a letter to you earlier this year urging you to propose cuts that stand a realistic chance of being implemented. A budget that focuses so much of the pain on regional programs and Congressional priorities does not meet this goal.” Today’s hearing provided another opportunity for the EPA to hear concerns from several Committee members regarding the proposed EPA budget cuts. Chairman Inhofe continues to work closely with Administrator Johnson and believes these concerns will be worked out in a cooperative manner.