Smith Calls on House to Unite for Oregon's Counties
In wake of the House leadership's decision today to take up a package of tax extenders bills that do not contain the four-year extension of county-payments funding, Senator Gordon Smith is calling on House members to come together to rescue Oregon's counties from drastic budget cuts.
Yesterday, the Senate approved a four-year, $3.3 billion extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, with an overwhelming 93-2 vote.
"In the face of unprecedented support in the Senate, the House leadership has once again decided to leave Oregon counties behind even as these counties face layoffs and school closures," said Smith. "I urge my house colleagues to pass the Senate bill, which would enable county payments to be signed into law. We must stand united to deliver this critical funding to our vulnerable counties before it's too late."
Today's vote marks the second time in four months that the House leadership has stripped county-payments funding from a Senate-passed bill. Senator Smith has continuously worked with Senator Wyden to help pass a multi-year extension of county payments on three separate occasions in the Senate.