Date: 10/23/1995 11:10 pm (Monday)
To: All EPA employees
Subject: Budget Update from the Administrator
*** This message is being e-mailed to all EPA Employees ***
To All EPA Employees:
Much about our budget situation remains uncertain, but
there is still some information I would like to share with you.
Congressional leadership is now admitting that Congress will not
complete action on all the FY 1996 Appropriations bills by the end
of the Continuing Resolution period (November 13). This means that
another continuing resolution would be necessary if we are to avoid
a government shut down. Obviously, we do not yet know what that new
continuing resolution will contain or how long it would last. It may
well contain cuts deeper than the 10 percent reduction from FY 1995
levels that the current continuing resolution has.
In addition, the Congressional leadership seems inclined to
pass a temporary increase in the debt limit. (As I have mentioned
in previous messages to you, if the government exhausts its ability
to borrow funds, the government would likely have to shut down. In
order to borrow additional funds, an increase in the debt ceiling is
necessary.) There are differences of opinion among Republicans about
whether the debt ceiling should be raised. There is also a technical
difference between Congress and the Administration over when the
current debt limit will be reached.
We are hopeful that a continuing resolution and debt ceiling
increase will be timely passed and a government shutdown will be
averted. Under any scenario, however, it is likely that we will be
under a continuing resolution beyond November 13.
The work that we all do to educate the American public and
Congress about the important work we do continues to bear fruit.
Last Friday, four well known authors on environmental issues -- Gregg
Easterbrook, author of A Moment on Earth, Philip Howard, who wrote The
Death of Common Sense, Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence,
and David Osborne, author of Reinventing Government -- criticized
the Congress for efforts to cripple the Agency's ability to protect
public health. "Slashing for the sake of slashing is insanely
counter productive", Peters said of the proposed cuts to EPA's budget.
Easterbrook spoke of the need to make environmental programs more
flexible, but said that proposed legislation in Congress on the Clean
Water Act and the appropriations riders are not the way to do it.
Howard contrasted Congress's efforts to roll back environmental
regulation with EPA's regulatory reinvention, which he praised.
I hope you all draw encouragement, as I did, from this kind
of support from some of the more thoughtful people writing about
government reform and environmental protection today.