A War on the Environment Glossary
- are cuts in previously authorized federal spending for the current fiscal year.
- The budget resolution
- sets overall spending and revenue levels for fiscal year 1996 within broad program
categories (Interior Dept., Agriculture Dept., etc.).
- The budget reconciliation process
- guides the passage of legislation by various authorizing committees by adjusting current
federal tax and spending programs to match the spending and revenue levels set in the
budget resolution. This is the bill that sets out the Republican leadership's long-term
plan for balancing the budget by 2002. It includes spending cuts, tax cuts and
revenue-generating programs. It also includes numerous anti-environmental provisions.
- Appropriations bills
- provide funding for one year and are usually enacted by Oct. 1, the first day of the
fiscal year. As line-by-line spending items, they are drafted by the appropriations
committees in the form of 13 separate bills and are the funding source for all government
agencies and departments. They must be initiated in the House before being considered by
- describes the congressional procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is
taken on the matter under discussion.
- describes the committee legislative process of adding amendments to a bill before it is
presented for a floor vote.
- Unfunded mandates
- relieve states of the responsibility to protect their citizens from health,
environmental and other threats unless the federal government foots the bill.
- Risk assessment
- is the idea that government may not set health and safety standards until an analysis is
performed to quantify the risk of inaction. The Contract With America's version of Russian
- describes the idea that government may not take any action having a potential impact on
the profits to be had from commercial use of property without paying compensation. One of
the cornerstones of the Polluter's Bill of Rights.
- are provisions attached to a spending bill whose aims are unrelated to the host bill.
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