TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports S. 3422, the “Great American Outdoors Act,” an important, bipartisan bill that would provide funding certainty for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the pressing maintenance and construction backlog on public lands. The United States Senate has already passed this bill on a broad bipartisan basis. The Chamber will consider including votes related to this legislation in our “How They Voted” congressional scorecard.
This bill would address long overdue infrastructure modernization challenges in the national parks system and on other federal and agricultural lands. It also would permanently authorize the LWCF, which provides important tools for smart development of open spaces in communities across our nation.
Local LWCF projects have the potential to put many thousands of Americans back to work as the American economy recovers from the pandemic. Such projects can also help companies and communities promote open spaces, build resilience, reduce risks from future disasters, and better manage stormwater.
Enactment of this bill would also provide much needed funding to support and sustain Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools. By setting aside 5% of the fund created in this Act, as much as $475 million could flow to BIE schools over the next five years.
The Chamber opposes any poison pill amendments that would undo the carefully balanced components of this legislation. In particular, the Chamber opposes any efforts to establish moratoria on energy production, which is not only crucial to America’s economic growth and energy security, but also provides the underlying funding for the LWCF.
We applaud the bipartisan leadership of the House sponsors, Reps. Joe Cunningham and Brian Fitzpatrick. The Chamber urges passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.
Senior Vice President
Congressional and Public Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce