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McCollum Floor Remarks Supporting FY2017 Omnibus

May 3, 2017
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Ranking Member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor today before the House passed the Fiscal Year 2017 government spending bill on a 309-118 vote:

“I rise today in support of this bipartisan compromise to fund our federal government for the remainder of this Fiscal Year.

“It is frustrating that the Trump Administration inserted itself into our Congressional funding negotiations last year, which unnecessarily delayed this bill for seven months. That delay created uncertainty and instability for the local governments, schools, businesses, and families we represent.

“Nevertheless, the final funding package we have under consideration today is a win for Minnesotans and Americans. Democrats stood strong and united. That is why this bill does not include any funding for President Trump's wasteful border wall, which he wanted to pay for with cuts to priorities here at home.

“As the Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, I am proud that we removed more than 75 poison pill riders from our part of the bill. These destructive policies would have delisted endangered species, rolled back environmental protections, and chipped away at our public lands.

“In addition to removing these harmful Republican riders, Democrats also succeeded in holding off many devastating cuts proposed by the Trump Administration. We protected the EPA from steep cuts to its work to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. We fully funded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, to keep our lakes, and the communities that rely on them, healthy! We increased funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, which improves the quality of life across our nation.

“This final bipartisan agreement will protect our environment, meet our trust and treaty obligations to Native Americans, and safeguard our natural and cultural heritage.

“Sadly, the President’s 2018 budget would undo all this work, so we must stay vigilant. Today, however, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting for this balanced compromise that will move America forward.”