VIDEO RELEASE: Greg Walden applauds U.S. House plan to help reduce federal overreach in rural Oregon

July 14, 2016
Press Release

VIDEO RELEASE: Greg Walden applauds U.S. House plan to help reduce federal overreach in rural Oregon

Click here or on the image below to watch Walden’s video statement

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation to provide annual funding for the Department of the Interior, and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) highlighted how the plan will help reduce federal overreach in rural communities across the West:

“The passage of this measure to fund the Department of the Interior is really important because we've got excellent policy changes in there. We’ve voted to prevent the listing of the sage grouse, to stop funds from being spent to declare a huge new national monument in Malheur County, and to rein in the overzealous regulatory regime of the EPA,” said Walden. “This plan really gives us an opportunity to do what we do best in Oregon: to work together to find solutions to our natural resource issues. I'm glad the House passed the bill with these important policy changes included, and I look forward to getting support from the Senate so we can get it down to the President.”

The plan cuts the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s budget by $164 million from last year, reducing regulatory programs by 21% and stopping the agency from expanding its jurisdiction over water and private property under the “Waters of the United States” rule.

Additionally, it prohibits listing of the sage grouse as an endangered species and fully funds Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILT) for Oregon’s rural counties. Additionally, the plan fully funds wildfire fighting at the ten year average cost and increases funding for forest management efforts that prevent fire.

Also included in this legislation are Walden’s provisions to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list and to prohibit funds from being used to make a Presidential declaration of a national monument in Malheur County, which would lock up 2.5 million acres of public land. This is the latest step in Walden’s continued efforts to urge the President and top members of the Administration to back off the proposal to ease tensions in the rural west.

The bill passed by a vote of 231-196 today, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.