Republicans Join Democrats to Defend God’s Creation Through the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Restore Our Parks Act

One of the nation’s premier conservation laws, the Land Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF, has been in peril for the past three years — and yesterday its authorization lapsed, putting the program in political limbo.

But today there was good news out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which voted 16-7 to approve S. 569, a bill that permanently reauthorizes LWCF and provides a permanent mandatory funding authorization of $900 million annually that cannot be reduced through the appropriations process.

We would especially like to thank five Republicans who joined all the Democrats who voted the right way for God’s creation:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

In addition, we’re also grateful for the leadership of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ranking Member of the committee and lead sponsor of the bill, and for the support of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

If the bill passes the full Senate it will have to be reconciled with a House version and then be signed into law by President Trump. So while this is a significant milestone, more work remains to be done.

Another positive vote from the Committee was the passage with strong bi-partisan support of S. 3172, the Restore Our Parks Act, which provides up to $1.3 billion a year for five years to fund maintenance projects at our National Parks. This is desperately needed, as the maintenance backlog is now over $11 billion. For example, 40% of the nearly 10,000 miles of roads in the Parks need repair, as do many of the water systems, like Rocky Mountain National Park, whose pipes are 50 to 70 years old.

Again, we are especially grateful for the eight Republicans who voted to be good stewards of God’s creation:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), lead sponsor

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Committee Chair

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Again, we are thankful for the leadership of these Senators who voted in committee to care for God’s creation, and we encourage others to thank them — especially their constituents.

 

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