Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04), Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after H.R. 4821, the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024, passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Cole supported the legislation.
Cole is a tibal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma and has served as co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus since 2009.
“At $25.4 billion for the Department of the Interior, EPA and other related agencies, which is $13.43 billion below fiscal year 2023 funding levels and $21.371 billion below the president’s budget request, this legislation delivers essential resources while also saving billions in taxpayer dollars,” Cole said.
“This legislation leverages House Republicans’ all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy by restarting onshore and offshore U.S. oil and gas leasing and reducing billions in spending on overreaching and overregulated EPA programs. In addition, it protects hunting, fishing and recreational access as well as limits efforts by the Biden Administration that burdens farmers, ranchers and landowners through the flawed Waters of the United States rule and abuse of the Endangered Species Act.
“Finally, this bill supports native communities and protects tribal sovereignty by not only increasing funding for the Indian Health Service, but also including advanced appropriations for the next fiscal year, ensuring secure healthcare access to tribal nations. I have always championed the importance of programs within the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, and I am pleased this bill secures the necessary funding for both agencies. I applaud Chairman Simpson for his work on this legislation and was proud to support it on the floor.”
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