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Public Statements

Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARDNER. Thank you, Chairman Rogers.

Last week, I offered an amendment in the House Rules Committee to add additional funding for an Emergency Watershed Protection program to be used for any area that had a designated major natural disaster. It's an important program that allows for watershed and infrastructure restoration.

Many parts of the western United States were devastated by wildfires last summer, including areas in my district, the Hyde Park fire near Colorado Springs and the Waldo Canyon fire. In Colorado alone, there were over 100,000 acres of land burned on both private and Federal land, as well as over 600 homes destroyed in these fires.

The EWP program will help communities in other areas of the United States to rebuild and prevent future damage to people and property. Unfortunately, this bipartisan amendment offered with other members of the Colorado delegation did not get through the Rules Committee process, and so it will not be considered on the House floor today.

The tragedy caused by Hurricane Sandy necessitates assistance from the Federal Government, but it's also important that disaster assistance be available to other areas that experience natural disasters, particularly those when it comes to Federal lands. I ask the chairman to consider working with me and other Members for wildfire restoration.

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. GARDNER. I yield to the gentleman.

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. First, I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado for his work on the Emergency Watershed Program. I am aware of the need for this assistance not only in Colorado but in other parts of the country, and I look forward to working with you and others to address this important funding in future legislation.

Mr. GARDNER. I thank the chairman for his work and his support.


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