Jul 19, 2018


Washington, DC (July 19, 2018) Congressman Pearce voted today to pass an appropriations package to fund the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Treasury Department, the Small Business Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year 2019. Congressman Pearce had a number of items added into the bill.

“Part of our job in Congress is making sure that all factions of our government are funded in a responsible way through the passage of 12 appropriations bills. The House remains committed to getting all of these bills done before the end of the fiscal year to provide Americans with certainty and transparency on how their taxes will be spent. Today’s bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior. Nearly forty percent of New Mexico is federal land, most of which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. From BLM’s permitting of oil and gas operations in the southeastern part of the state to the National Park Services operation and promotion of our states national monuments and parks, funding certainty for DOI is vital to the economic success of our State.”

In addition to the funding certainty this bill provides, it includes a number of initiatives supported by Congressman Pearce that will benefit and strengthen New Mexico.

  • An amendment that would allow the Range-wide plan for the Lesser Prairie Chicken to succeed  
  • Fully funding the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program at $500 million
  • Providing $3.9 billion to combat wildfires and $655 million to reduce hazardous fuels to clean up our forests
  • $63 million for State and Tribal Wildlife grants that allow states and tribes to proactively protect species habitat
  • $40 million for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration program which contains two projects in New Mexico
  • Fully repeals the EPA’s harmful Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule that attempted to regulate streams and ditches
  • Increases funding for the National Park Service’s deferred maintenance backlog
  • $5.9 billion for the Indian Health Service, a $370 million increase
  • $3.1 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education, a $40 million increase

“The federal government must be a good steward of the land it owns in New Mexico,” continued Pearce. “Under this legislation Congress takes steps to protect and preserve the lands the government owns. We in New Mexico are all too familiar with the crushing impact wildfire can have on New Mexican communities and natural beauties. I am proud to have been able to work with my colleagues and Chairman Calvert to provide DOI with the funding needed to both combat fires head on, but also properly manage the forest that helps prevent out of control, dangerous fires. In addition to combatting wildfires on multiple fronts, this bills provides New Mexican counties with the PILT funding to support the schools, hospitals, roads, and law enforcement in areas where federal lands reduces the local communities opportunity to collect needed revenues. Fully funding PILT is a massive win for rural and western states. I am honored to have played a central role in securing this money.

“I was also especially proud to include an amendment that would require the Fish and Wildlife Service  to conduct more research before listing a species as endangered. The Lesser Prairie Chicken range numbers have increased from 9,000 to 39,000 in just a year, confirming that listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken as an endangered species is not necessary and that state and local officials are fully capable of recovering species, without impacting local economies.”