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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-187

======================================================================



 
     DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES 
                        APPROPRIATION BILL, 2008

                                _______
                                

 June 22, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Dicks of Washington, from the Committee on Appropriations, 
                        submitted the following

                          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

                        [To accompany H.R. 2643]

    The Committee on Appropriations submits the following 
additional report in explanation of H.R. 2643, making 
appropriations for the Department of the Interior, the 
Environmental Protection Agency, and Related Agencies for the 
fiscal year ending September 30, 2008. This report augments, 
but does not replace, instructions and guidance provided in 
House Report 110-187, the initial report filed by the Committee 
on this bill on June 11, 2007. With this new report, the 
Committee has updated its recommendations to give direction to 
agencies regarding funding for specific projects and to comply 
with clause 9 of rule XXI as it relates to transparency 
requirements when projects have been requested by Members of 
Congress. It also includes Committee recommendations related to 
projects requested by the executive branch as part of the 
President's fiscal year 2008 budget.
    In allocating the funds made available by this bill for 
various agencies and appropriations accounts, the Committee 
directs that the following projects be funded:


               EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCH PROJECTS

    Compliance with Rules of the House.--The list of projects 
provided above is submitted in compliance with clause 9 of rule 
XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, which 
requires publication of a complete list of projects included in 
the bill which result principally from requests of Members of 
the House of Representatives. In addition the list includes 
projects of a similar character which are funded in the bill 
and which have been requested in the President's Budget for 
fiscal year 2008.
    Projects.--The Committee notes that the Congress has made 
significant reforms in the way it reviews funding for the 
Federal government, reforms which the Committee takes very 
seriously as it executes its constitutional authority. 
Earmarking or directed spending of Federal dollars does not 
begin with Congress. It begins with the Executive Branch. For 
example, the list included above lists 92 specific land 
acquisition or construction projects which have been submitted 
by the Administration. The Administration, in selecting these 
projects, goes through a process that is the functional 
equivalent of earmarking. When the Committee reviews the budget 
request, it goes through a process of rigorous review and may 
alter or modify this list to reflect additional priorities.
    Contractors.--The Executive Branch also engages in another 
practice which steers or directs money to specific entities or 
purposes through a process of contracting out various 
activities and services. In many important work locations, the 
number of people working for contractors exceeds the number of 
Federal employees in the same building or location. Many of 
these, in fact, are non-competitive or sole-sourced. When added 
together, the Executive Branch steers or directs far greater 
spending to specific projects or corporations than is directed 
or earmarked by Congress. And the practice of non-competitive 
contracting has exploded in the past five years. For example, 
the Department of the Interior reported to the Committee that 
the value of contracts awarded through processes that were 
``not fully and openly competitive'' increased from $26 million 
in 2000 to $167 million in 2005.