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McCollum: House-Passed Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill Fails American People

July 14, 2016
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), the Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the House approved the FY2017 Interior-Environment appropriations bill on a 231-196 vote:

“I led Democrats opposing the Interior-Environment appropriations bill today because it fails to meet some of Congress’ most basic responsibilities: protecting the public health and safety of the American people and preserving our environment for future generations.

To cater to right-wing ideologues and polluters’ special interests, Republicans loaded up this bill with damaging cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and harmful riders that undo environmental regulations. Sadly, Republicans even bragged about how deep they cut the agency that is responsible for ensuring that our air and water is clean.

While I support some elements of the bill — including robust funding for programs important to Native Americans and support for our National Parks as they celebrate their centennial — I was disappointed to see just how bad Republicans made this bill on the floor by further chopping away at EPA funding and unraveling even more environmental protections. For instance, Republicans voted to undo safety rules put in place following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, putting our environment and, most importantly, lives at risk.

I was also deeply disturbed by the lengths to which Republicans have gone in this bill to undermine the Obama administration’s climate change policies. Climate change is real: The planet, the climate, the oceans, the ice shelves are all changing. For the sake of our children and future generations, we must act to address the climate crisis. Instead, Republicans would rather stick their heads in the sand and ignore the reality of climate change.

Fortunately, the Senate is unlikely to pass such an extreme bill and the White House has already indicated the President would veto this legislation if it reached his desk. In the coming months, I will work with Republican and Democratic colleagues to remove harmful partisan provisions and restore adequate funding to protect the public health and safety of the American people and preserve our environment for future generations.”