WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 21, 2018) — Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement today after securing important forest management and fire borrowing reforms and other wins for rural counties in the government funding bill to be voted on tomorrow, Thursday, March 22.
“For too long, Eastern Washington has suffered from the lack of action to enact responsible forest management reforms and fix fire borrowing at the U.S. Forest Service. The practice of fire borrowing is a vicious cycle, leading to a decrease in funds for forest management efforts, and increasing the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires on our forests. This fix is long overdue, and I was proud to lead this effort in the House for everyone who relies on our forests or who live through the consequences of catastrophic fire.
“I also made certain my bill to extend the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program was included. This funding is absolutely critical to those in our rural counties. Counties use these funds to pay for public schools, roads and infrastructure, law enforcement, and other municipal needs. Without this funding, people in rural, forest-centered communities get left behind.
“For our farmers, I also made sure we fixed the ‘grain glitch,’ an issue in the tax law that upset the competitive balance between cooperatives and private grain and seed operators. I listened to our farmers, including hearing concerns during my recent telephone town hall, and made it clear this funding bill should not be voted on until we fixed this issue.
“I was proud to lead for Eastern Washington in these negotiations to get these things done, and I will continue leading to get results for you and your family and our community.”
NOTE: Earlier this month, the Congresswoman spoke alongside county commissioners from Washington and other western states about the importance of her legislation to extend the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. You can watch her remarks here:
Read the Congresswoman’s full legislation here.
# # #