Chairman Newhouse, Representative Simpson Applaud Passage of Interior Appropriations Bill

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Today, Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Representative Mike Simpson (ID-02), Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee on Appropriations, issued the following statements applauding passage of H.R. 4821, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024. This bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 213-203.
“This year’s Interior appropriations bill is a win for western and rural America, and our fiscal future,” said Chairman Newhouse. “Many Western Caucus priorities are featured in this bill, including provisions to expand American energy and mineral production, protect American landowners’ rights by repealing the Administration’s onerous WOTUS rule, and blocking overreaching regulations under the Endangered Species Act. I’m happy to champion the provision that would prevent funding of the Bureau of Land Management’s egregious ‘Landscape and Conservation Health’ proposed rule in order to protect the multiple-use mandate of our public lands. As Chairman of the Western Caucus, I am proud of this legislation and our members’ work in getting it across the finish line.”
“I am pleased to see the House pass my Interior and Environment Appropriations bill,” said Rep. Simpson. “As Chairman of this subcommittee, I vowed to create a bill that reduces unnecessary federal spending and prioritizes the critical needs and essential functions within these agencies. This bill does just that by reining in the Environmental Protection Agency, fighting the misguided Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, fully funding the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program, and providing additional funding for essential wildfire activities. I thank Chairwoman Granger for her leadership, my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, and the House for their support. I urge the Senate to take this bill up immediately, and I look forward to these policies getting signed into law.”
Some of the provisions of H.R. 4821 are:

  • Repeals the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation.
  • Limits the abuse of the Endangered Species Act by:
    • Prohibiting introduction of the grizzly bear in the North Cascades Ecosystem.
    • Strengthening the limitation on listing sage grouse to include bi-state population.
    • Prohibiting the introduction of bison in the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge.
    • Prohibiting the listing of the lesser prairie-chicken.
    • Requiring the Department of the Interior to reissue the 2020 rule delisting the gray wolf.
    • Prohibiting the up-listing of the northern long-eared bat.
    • Prohibiting the listing of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.
    • Directing the Department of the Interior to reissue the final rule delisting the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population of Grizzly Bears.
  • Requires oil and gas lease sales in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area and the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area and in the Alaska region.
  • Requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct quarterly onshore oil and gas lease sales.
  • Prohibits EPA from implementing permitting requirements for livestock emissions under the Clean Air Act.
  • Expands access to critical minerals, reducing our domestic reliance on the Chinese supply chain.
  • Prohibits funds to enforce certain Bureau of Land Management withdrawals in Minnesota.
  • Reinstates certain mineral leases in the Superior National Forest.
  • Prohibits funds for the Bureau of Land Management’s Conservation and Landscape Health rule.

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