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Back in business


The U.S. House of Representatives is back in business. In just three days, we passed appropriations legislation to fund the legislative branch and the Department of the Interior and provide military assistance to Israel, all while reining in reckless government spending and bureaucracy. When the phrase, “power of the purse,” is invoked, the appropriations process is where Congress, and especially the House, has an opportunity to exercise that power.
Leading as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee we worked to together with the Appropriations Committee to pass the Fiscal Year 2024 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which cuts top-line spending by 35% from the bloated Fiscal Year 2023 levels, bringing the allocations back in line with Fiscal Year 2018. This responsible fiscal legislation trims wasteful spending while upholding conservative policies that will broadly impact rural communities, hunters and anglers, farmers and ranchers, and ultimately save money for the American taxpayer both in government spending and in reigning in programs that are driving up inflation for everyone.
The appropriations process combined with our committee oversight activities allows House Republicans a unique opportunity to hold the Biden Administration accountable. The Interior bill included key elements to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used on wasteful projects like Nancy Pelosi’s $200 million Presidio Trust and the Biden Administration’s woke eco-grief counseling. It also cut funding for the misguided policies in Biden’s incorrectly named Inflation Reduction Act by rescinding $7.8 billion from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and $1.4 billion from the Environmental and Climate Justice fund. The bill requires the administration to conduct offshore energy lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico according to established law that the administration is currently ignoring. The bill protects our agricultural producers by prohibiting onerous EPA animal greenhouse gas emission permitting requirements and blocks the Biden Waters of the US rule. The bill restricts the Endangered Species Act from being abused to push the left’s agenda but keeps it in tact to protect truly endangered species. The bill also promotes domestic mining of our abundant minerals and elements that we have become heavily dependent on China to supply under Biden policies. Finally, along with other cuts and spending restrictions, we were able to pass language that stops the Biden administration’s attack on affordable lead ammunition and fishing tackle. Farmers, ranchers, sportsmen and women, rural landowners, and hardworking, tax paying Americans are suffering from the Biden Administration’s overreaching and over-regulatory policies that were green-lighted by Nancy Pelosi’s out-of-control spending bills. This Interior Appropriations bill provides common sense spending cuts and relief from overreaching policies and bureaucratic power creep.
In total, through my committee work and personal office work, we were able to help craft much of the base text of the bill as well as implement over a dozen ideas and amendments to the final bill including an amendment that reduced funding for the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) from its bloated $3,750,000 to its congressionally authorized level of $1,000,000. CEQ was originally authorized as a small office in the White House to help implement the National Environmental Policy Act, but it has become the driving force behind the far left’s Green New Deal policies. In the last congress, Democrats gave them an additional $62.5 million in the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act. We also rescinded the $62.5 million slush fund. The American people deserve transparency, and CEQ’s lack of accountability to Congressional oversight and unwillingness to answer basic questions or even answer a letter in a timely manner is deeply concerning. These provisions were not the only of their kind to be included in the entire bill. I was glad to have many of my colleagues join me in sending a clear message to the Biden Administration that disregarding oversight and the American people is completely unacceptable.
I’m proud to have supported the final Interior Appropriations bill, which included dozens of House Committee on Natural Resources priorities and policy wins for Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District while delivering results for all Americans and holding the Biden Administration Accountable.