During Thursday’s House Natural Resources Committee markup meeting for a roughly $31.7 billion portion of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution, eastern Oregon’s Cliff Bentz offered a trio of amendment he said will benefit rural communities across the Beaver state.
Bentz said the three amendments refocus federal priorities and move funding from President Biden’s “liberal wish list” to ongoing natural disasters hurting communities across the western U.S.
“Given the historic spending levels continued in this enormous $3.5 trillion proposal, there is no doubt that Democrats are pedal to the metal when it comes to driving our nation over a fiscal cliff,” Bentz noted. “Meanwhile, they are not coming close to investing adequately in areas that are critical to our nation such as drought solutions, wildfire mitigation, and federal land and forest management. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee, and although I am opposed to this $3.5 trillion proposal, I used the markup as an opportunity to call out some of the most misdirected and damaging parts of this out-of-control Democratic spending spree.”
The three amendments offered by Congressman Bentz were:
- Drought Relief Amendment – This amendment would have shifted $50 million in federal funding from several single-species conservation programs to emergency drought relief and water storage projects in the western United States.
- Wildfire Mitigation Amendment – This amendment would have directed $5 billion in existing federal spending to the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the purpose of reducing the enormous risk of wildfire facing our nation.
- Northern Spotted Owl Habitat Amendment – This amendment would have increased forest restoration projects, created jobs, and protected the Northern Spotted Owl from the threat of wildfire by re-aligning the Biden Administration’s critical habitat designation for the owl with a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision and with federal environmental law.
Thursday’s markup was the House Natural Resource Committee’s second meeting to review its assigned portion of the $3.5 trillion spending target contained in the reconciliation proposal which continues to make its way through various Congressional committees. Federal legislators are expected to vote on the $3.5 trillion spending bill, along with a roughly $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill already passed by the U.S. Senate, when the House is back in session later this month.
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