WASHINGTON, D.C. - Officials working for the House Appropriations Committee Friday denied reports that HR 1, the bill to fund government operations for the rest of fiscal year 2011, would hurt the tsunami early-warning system that protects the West Coast. But they did confirm that the agency that runs the system, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, would see its funding reduced.
"The nation is in an historic fiscal crisis, and it is imperative that the Congress roll back spending in virtually every area of government - including NOAA - so that we can help our economy back on track. However, while we look for cuts, it is also imperative to maintain essential programs that protect the safety of Americans across the country," said Jennifer Hing, spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky.
"While HR 1 cuts the NOAA budget by roughly 7 percent, it also allows critical life-saving and safety programs - such as the tsunami buoy network and warning systems - to be maintained," Hing said.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press said HR 1, the Republican proposal for funding the government through Sept. 30, would result in deep cuts to the National Weather Service, including its tsunami early-warning system.
The bill has passed the House but not the Senate. However, the staff of Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would not imperil public safety.