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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

McCollum Floor Remarks Supporting Disaster Relief Supplemental Bill

October 12, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 2266, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act:

I rise in support of this funding package. This bill is a down payment on the recovery from recent fires and hurricanes.

I am pleased that it contains $576.5 million to fully repay the funds that the U.S. Forest Service borrowed in the last fiscal year to pay for wildfire suppression.

We have all seen the devastation and the tragic loss of life from large fires burning across our country. Fiscal Year 2017 was the most expensive year on record for wildfire suppression, costing $2.4 billion.  

As the duration and severity of wildfires grows, costs will continue to rise. Unfortunately, we have once again missed an opportunity to fix the way the federal government funds wildfire suppression.

Let me be clear: The next supplemental must include a legislative fix for wildfire spending. And it must adequately support the Department of the Interior and its vital efforts to help our country rebuild from the recent fires and hurricanes.

I yield back.