Friday, July 27, 2018
BIlly Long: With Trump as model, we continue our fight for sensible spending
You wouldn’t think it, but with a national debt of over $20 trillion it’s nearly impossible to get bipartisan support to cut any spending in Washington. We still try though. Since President Trump took office, we have been working to pass legislation that cuts unnecessary spending and reigns in regulations. A recent example of this is H.R. 6147, the Interior, Environment, Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for fiscal year (FY) 2019, which was passed by the House of Representatives in July. This funding package targets rules and regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including fully repealing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, while also cutting spending and making critical investments in our infrastructure.
The repeal of the WOTUS rule would be a huge win for farmers, ranchers and private landowners across the country. This rule was implemented by the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2015 under President Obama and dramatically expanded the federal government’s authority over rivers, streams and marshes. This needless regulation is one of many that takes power away from individuals and states and puts it in the hands of unelected bureaucrats in Washington. Thankfully, H.R. 6147 would change that.
Along with fully repealing the WOTUS rule, this bill would significantly reduce burdensome regulatory programs within the EPA by $228 million. In addition to these reductions, H.R. 6147 would cut through unnecessary red tape by eliminating any regulations regarding the amount of lead content in ammunition and fishing tackle, which if regulated, would have harmful economic impacts on Missouri’s hunting and fishing industries. It would also eliminate mandating livestock operations and livestock producers from being forced to abide by burdensome requirements that can sometimes cost farmers and ranchers thousands of dollars to comply with.
Although this bill would make necessary cuts, it would also make critical investments in infrastructure, specifically water projects. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, we continually discuss the urgent need to update and invest in our outdated water infrastructure. H.R. 6174 would fix this problem by allocating $74 million to the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act to help fund essential water infrastructure projects.
This funding bill would not only slash spending, but it would also support programs that would benefit hardworking taxpayers. It’s a great example of fiscal responsibility that addresses our needs while also eliminating unnecessary and costly regulations. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will follow the House and pass H.R. 6147 to continue our fight for sensible spending.