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Committee Democrats Silence Debate on Reconciliation Instructions


WASHINGTON, D.C.,
September 9, 2021

Washington – Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources continued marking up the Natural Resources title of the House’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget reconciliation legislation. While committee Republicans were still offering amendments to the legislation, Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) ended debate through an amendment in nature of a substitute (ANS). Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement in response:

“I and my colleagues have been deeply concerned about this legislation from the outset, which is why we’ve wanted to have a robust debate on it. Yet while we were still in the middle of working through amendments, committee Democrats abruptly ceased debate and ended the markup. It’s been nothing but whiplash from the start. First we were told we absolutely had to debate this package now, despite numerous ongoing crises facing our nation. But then when we actually proposed some critical amendments and attempted to make the legislation at least somewhat bipartisan, committee Democrats suddenly decided they had more important things to do. Which is it?”

Background

Despite ongoing debate of the committee’s reconciliation instructions, Grijalva abruptly ended amendment debate without allowing members to get into critical issues like energy independence, forest management, national park maintenance backlogs, endangered species, western water infrastructure and more.

Prior to Grijalva’s debate cutoff, committee Democrats unanimously voted against Republican amendments, including:

Restricting Pelosi Presidio Payout money from being used on luxury golf courses, hotels and homes located in the Presidio in San Francisco, Calif.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)

Redirecting Pelosi Presidio Payout money to improving outdoor recreation opportunities for veterans, military service members and Gold Star Families.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.)

Redirecting Pelosi Presidio Payout money to provide much-needed pay raises for wildland firefighters. 

Offered by U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.)

Reforming the proposed Civilian Climate Corps, including prohibiting illegal immigrants from participating, adding consultation and accountability requirements, giving priority hiring to veterans and tying the program to unemployment rates. 

Offered by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

Allowing ongoing competitiveness for soda ash and other commodities, removing attempts to upset the balance between leaseholders and the government under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act and preventing third-party designees from being wrongfully held liable for leasing payments.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.)

Redirecting $1 billion in funding to address an enormous backlog in the Indian Health Service facility construction program.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

Suspending oil and gas royalty increases until federal officials determine they will not result in a loss of American jobs.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.)

Preventing funding on Endangered Species Act (ESA) provisions from going to any non-governmental organization that has received attorney’s fees on or otherwise benefitted from ESA lawsuits.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

Redirecting $1 billion in funding to the Bureau of Indian Affairs public safety and justice programs, including funding for tribal police forces.

Offered by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

Read the full list of proposed Republican amendments here.

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