Congress Funds Government Through 2015: Increases for Department of Interior Programs

Just before the deadline for the federal government to run out of money, Congress passed a comprehensive spending bill to fund the government through fiscal year (FY) 2015. The measure, H.R. 83 – the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, provides approximately $1.1 trillion in discretionary spending for federal government programs and operations for FY2015. The House of Representatives passed the measure by a vote of 219-206, while the Senate’s vote was 56-40.  President Obama signed the bill into law on December 16, 2014.  

The measure includes significant increases in funding for certain Department of Interior programs, including: $2.6 billion for the National Park Service (NPS), an increase of $55 million; Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife received a $13 million increase over 2014 level with $1.086 billion and $1.4 billion respectively. NPS’ funding includes $10 million for the Centennial Challenge to help celebrate NPS’ 100th anniversary in 2016. The Land and Water Conservation Fund remains at 2014 levels at $306 million. Transportation programs under MAP-21, including the Transportation Alternatives Program, remain at 2014 levels. The TIGER program, which is not authorized under MAP-21, received $500 million, about $100 million less than 2014 level.

Below is a breakdown of the FY2015 allocations for the various federal agencies and programs important to ASLA and landscape architects nationwide:

Department of Interior
Department of Interior: $10.6 billion, a $244 million increase from FY2014 enacted level
National Park Service: $2.6 billion
Land and Water Conservation Fund: $306 million
U.S. Forest Service: $5 billion
Urban and Community Forestry Program: $28 million
Bureau of Land Management: $970 million

Environmental Protection Agency:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: $8.1 billion, a $61 million decrease from FY2014 enacted level  
Clean Water State Revolving Fund: $1.45 billion
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: $906 million

Department of Transportation:
Department of Transportation: $17.8 billion, same as FY2014 level
TIGER: $500 million, $100 million below FY2014 level
Federal Highway Program: $41 billion, same level authorized in MAP-21 transportation legislation

Housing and Urban Development
Department of Housing and Urban Development: $35.6 billion, $2.7 billion above FY2014 level.
Community Planning and Development: $6.5 billion, $110 million below FY2014 enacted level.
Community Development Block Grants: $3 billion, $30 million below FY2014 level.

Energy and Water
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: $5.5 billion
Water Resources Construction: $1.6 billion
Water Resources Operations and Maintenance: $2.9 billion

Department of Agriculture
Conservations Programs: $859 million
Watershed Rehabilitation Program: $12 million
Agriculture Research Service: $1.1 billion (includes funding to address decline of honey bee health)

Other Agencies
National Endowment for the Arts: $146 million
National Endowment for the Humanities: $146 million
Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission: $1 million.  However, the measure bans construction of a memorial through FY 2015 because of the continuing controversy over the design of the project.


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator