Simpson secures Idaho provisions in omnibus legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today applauded the House passage of H.R. 2471, which will fund the federal government for fiscal year 2022 and includes numerous critical benefits for Idaho and Western States.

“While this process was far from perfect, I voted yes on this legislation because the final package contains huge wins for Idaho and the nation. Those wins include record funding for the Idaho National Laboratory, an increase in funding to address the ongoing border crisis, a prohibition against listing the sage grouse as an endangered species, maintaining enacted pro-life protections, and bolstering our nation’s military readiness,” Simpson said in a press release.

Simpson listed several ways in which the bill will help agriculture.

“We depend on agriculture to meet so many of the needs we have as a nation, and now more than ever, we have a responsibility to ensure that Idaho’s agriculture sector remains strong,” Simpson said. “Generations of Idahoans have helped to make agriculture the backbone of Idaho’s economy and we must continue to invest in our producers and ranchers to ensure their operations are sustainable and efficient. This bill shows strong support for the Sheep Station in Dubois, ID and supports the future of the research facility. I’m proud of the funding in this bill for continued research for potatoes, grain, and other commodities. This research is vital as we work to secure our domestic supply of food and to expand the trade reach of Idaho products around the world.”

It includes language that supports the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois and acknowledges the work of the diverse stakeholders Simpson convened to support current research to collaborate on future research objectives.

Furthermore, $6.5 million is provided for the eradication of pale cyst nematode within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

It provides funding for the USDA Rural Utilities Service Circuit Rider program, which helps fund rural communities to provide safe and affordable drinking water.

It provides funding for National Institutes of Food and Agriculture for potato and wheat research.

It includes language urging the FDA to enforce standards of identity for dairy products to ensure that only animal-derived foods and beverages are labeled as dairy products.

It provides funding for barley research infrastructure to address threats to the production of high-quality barley.

The Interior and Environment portion of H.R. 2471 includes many provisions important to Idaho, including funding for wildfire suppression and mitigation efforts, and an Endangered Species Act listing prohibition for the greater sage grouse, Simpson said.

It provides full funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, which compensates counties for the losses in property tax as a result of a high percentage of federal land. Idaho counties receive more than $30 million.

It includes language that prevents listing of sage grouse as an endangered species and provides $70 million in funding for the Bureau of Land Management towards sage grouse conservation.

It provides robust funding for the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to fight wildfires.

It includes $63 million to the U.S. Geological Survey for the Minerals Resources Program, which delivers information to promote sustainable development and responsible stewardship of our natural resources and critical minerals important to the Nation’s economic and national security.

It provides $1 million to compensate ranchers for livestock killed by wolves.

It continues a provision which directs EPA, USDA and DOE to establish clear policies regarding the carbon neutrality of biomass which is an important energy source and part of an all of the above energy strategy.

It includes funding for Native American communities to help improve infrastructure, health care needs, and emergency services, including $7 million to address the inadequate facility needs of the Fort Hall Fire Department and EMS operations.

It includes language that directs the Bureau of Land Management to work with the State of Idaho regarding aquifer recharge.

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