Rep. Calvert Statement on the Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) released the following statement after voting against the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, H.R. 266:
“The funding bill considered by the House today is almost entirely a Senate product. As such, it ignores the bipartisan priorities of the House. I don’t want to see these agencies shutdown, but that does not mean we should hastily approve bad legislation. Furthermore, the Senate has already indicated it will not take up this bill and the administration has indicated the President will not sign it.
“Specifically, the bill fails to include protections for the California WaterFix, a critical project that will enhance water deliveries to Southern California. The bill also provides $12 million less than last year’s House-passed bill for the U.S. Geological Survey’s natural hazards research and early warning systems – including a significant cut to the earthquake early warning system for West Coast. There’s also $21 million less for the Forest Service and Department of the Interior to clear dead and dying trees from our forests in order to prevent more catastrophic wildfires like the kind we experienced in my own State of California. Additionally, the bill provides $77 million less than the House Republican bill for EPA's WIFIA, Brownfields, and Superfund Remedial programs. These programs provide regulatory relief, leverage Federal dollars, improve water infrastructure, and spur economic development. Even popular EPA grant programs, like the Diesel Emission Reduction grants (DERA) and Targeted Airshed grants, were significantly reduced in this bill.
“By bringing these Senate bills to the floor, rather than the conferenced bills, House Democrats show they are more concerned about scoring political points against the President to appease their base than reopening the government. The President has come to the table several times to negotiate on border security and reopen the government, but House Democrats must appease the far-left elements of their party that demand open borders and opposition to the President at all costs – which includes forcing 800,000 federal workers to miss a paycheck.”