Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House passed Interior and Environmental funding bills. This piece of legislation funds both the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This bill is virtually identical to the bill that passed the Senate last year by a vote of 92-6. It now heads back to the Senate for its consideration.
“Today, January 11th, marks the first pay check that over 800,000 federal workers, including thousands of Iowans, will not be receiving because of this needless shutdown. These folks need to get back to work and make sure the federal government is working on behalf of the American people,” said Loebsack. “This bill to fund Interior and Environmental initiatives has a direct impact on Iowans. Currently, the Herbert Hoover Museum in Cedar County is closed due to the shutdown. This has caused a negative economic impact on the restaurants and businesses in the area and closed the site to tourists and school groups. Additionally, Americans are less safe during the shutdown as important environmental inspections have been halted. It is time to end the games and reopen the parts of our government that have nothing to do with securing the border.”
Because of the shutdown, some of the most important activities funded in the Interior and Environmental bills have ground to a halt. The shutdown has also led to serious impacts:
• National Parks Unsafe, Filled with Garbage. All services for visitors to National Park Service sites – such as visitors’ centers, interpretative programs, and restrooms – have been suspended. Many parks are overflowing with uncollected garbage and some visitors have damaged property, while curtailed law enforcement staffing is putting visitors’ safety at risk. In addition, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art have closed.
• Environmental Inspections Stopped. The Environmental Protection Agency has halted inspections at drinking water systems, hazardous waste management, and chemical facilities, potentially jeopardizing community safety.
I want to serve my constituents in any way I can. Whether you need help with a federal agency, are trying to find out if federal grants are available for your project, or are considering applying to a service academy. I hope all the information in this section will be helpful.