Interior Appropriations Bill Advances through Committee
WASHINGTON (June 15, 2016) – Today, the House Committee on Appropriations favorably reported the FY 2017 Interior and Environment appropriations bill to the House of Representatives by a vote of 31-18. The bill addresses a number of priorities for the livestock industry, including language regarding the Greater Sage Grouse and full defunding of EPA’s problematic “waters of the United States” rule.
“The bill maintains the one-year delay on further rulemaking or listing of the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act and prevents implementation of federal management that is inconsistent with successful, ongoing state management of the species,” said Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands. “Additionally, the bill fully defunds EPA’s ‘waters of the United States’ final rule and begins to address the abuse of the Antiquities Act by limiting the President’s ability to make sweeping designations at the stroke of pen and over local objections.”
The bill also blocks the President’s proposed administrative fee on top of the grazing fee. Additionally, it reduces funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund to $322 million, restoring some responsibility and prioritizing state and local projects while reducing funding for federal land acquisition. Payment in Lieu of Taxes was fully funded, offsetting the loss of local tax revenue for public lands, and the bill increases funding for wildfire suppression to $3.9 billion. Furthermore, the bill provides some additional flexibility and management for the overpopulation of wild horses.
“We applaud the members of the Appropriations committee for taking an active stance in addressing some of the most pressing needs of the livestock industry,” said Lane. “As the Senate works to mark up their companion bill later this week, we hope this bill will move quickly to a vote on the House floor.”
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America’s cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Lands Council (PLC) has represented livestock ranchers who use public lands since 1968, preserving the natural resources and unique heritage of the West. Ranchers who utilize public lands own nearly 120 million acres of the most productive private land and manage vast areas of public land, accounting for critical wildlife habitat and the nation’s natural resources. PLC works to maintain a stable business environment in which livestock producers can conserve the West and feed the nation and world.