Office of U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07)
Following the mark-up of the House Natural Resources Committee’s component of the reconciliation package, the committee advanced a budget with several provisions championed by Representative Gallego, including funding for the restoration of wildlife corridors, money for tribal infrastructure and health care, and the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps.
“The budget approved September 9 by the Natural Resources Committee delivers on the committee’s commitment to fund solutions to the climate crisis and protect the public lands we Arizonans rely on and enjoy,” said Representative Ruben Gallego. “At a time when many states in the West are experiencing drought, devastating wildfires, and continuous extinctions of local species, I’m grateful the committee included several provisions that I have supported—such as $500 million for near-term drought relief in western communities, $10 million for wildlife corridors to improve habitat connectivity and road safety, and funding to create a Civilian Climate Corps. I’m also proud that the bill provides robust investment in Tribal health and transportation infrastructure, as tribes have borne the brunt of COVID-19 and decades of failure to invest in infrastructure. After four years of an administration that scorned the needs of Indian Country and failed to invest in the solutions needed to confront climate change and environmental injustice, I’m proud we are now prioritizing these policies, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to ensure the full reconciliation package passes into law.”
Representative Gallego Provisions included in the House Natural Resources Budget:
- Urban Indian Health. The bill includes $42 million in funding that Rep. Gallego championed to ensure urban Indian communities in Phoenix and across the country have access to modern, safe and efficient health care facilities.
- Wildlife Corridors. This provision authorizes $10,000,000 in funding to map and restore wildlife corridors, including on state and Tribal lands.
- Money for Indian Health and Infrastructure. The bill provides $3.5 billion in total funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), building on the investments Rep. Gallego championed in the American Rescue Plan Act. It also includes funding for Tribal road maintenance and Tribal justice infrastructure improvement after Congressman Gallego held multiple hearings in 2019 and 2020 on the urgent need for infrastructure investment in Indian Country.
- Civilian Climate Corps. This provision authorizes funding for the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Tribal CCCs.
- Wildfire Prevention. This provision provides $900 million to the Bureau of Land Management to reduce wildfire risk as well as $100 million for Tribal wildfire prevention.
- Urban Parks- $100 million for NPS to enhance urban parks
- Emergency Drought Relief. This provision provides $500 million to reclamation for near-term drought relief to western communities
U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego is a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Iraq. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.