Comprehensive Science Authorization Bill to Bolster Federal Agenda on Wildfires Passes Committee with Bipartisan Amendments
WASHINGTON, DC – H.R. 5781, National Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Program Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) passed the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee by voice vote on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The comprehensive science authorization bill will strengthen federal coordination of research and operational efforts and advance a united federal agenda for reducing wildland fire risk.
“We heard from many Committee Members about the increasingly-devastating impact of wildfires on their districts and the importance of this legislation. Now, we must move this forward quickly in the House of Representatives to bring all of the federal government’s scientific resources to bear in helping prevent the loss of life and property from wildfires in America,” said Lofgren. “I believe the amendments offered by my colleagues and adopted by the Committee have further strengthened the legislation.”
The Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Lofgren was developed to incorporate input from the agencies, institutions, departments, and first responders that will be directly involved in wildfire detection, mitigation, and suppression. The Committee also voted to adopt bipartisan amendments from Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK-3) and Reps. Jay Obernolte (R-CA-8), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-7), Sean Casten (D-IL-6), Ami Bera (D-CA-7), Young Kim (R-CA-39), Jake LaTurner (R-KS-2), Randy Weber (R-TX-14) and Randy Feenstra (R-IA-4).
Recent, Related Lofgren Actions
- On October 29, 2021, Lofgren, McNerney, Perlmutter and Bonamici introduced the National Wildland Fire Risk Reduction Program Act.
- On September 23, 2021, the House of Representatives included an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from Lofgren to identify national surveillance assets that could help combat the nation’s wildfire crisis.
- On September 16, 2021, Lofgren joined San Jose State University for a conversation on wildfires, drought, and environmental justice.
- On July 12, 2021, Lofgren secured $1.15 million for the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center at San Jose State University in the House Appropriations Committee’s FY 2022 funding bills.
- On June 30, 2021, Lofgren introduced the Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act to waive annual premium pay caps for federal firefighters working overtime to battle increasingly intense wildfires.
- On June 29, 2021, Lofgren chaired a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on the state of federal wildland fire science.
- On June 28, 2021, the House passed the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Future Act, which included a provision from Lofgren to support wildfire resilience efforts. The NSF for the Future Act passed the SST Committee on June 28, 2021.
- On March 24, 2021, Lofgren, along with McNerney, Perlmutter, Bonamici and California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, led 47 members of Congress in urging the Biden Administration to “go big” on funding for science-based strategies to prevent and respond to destructive wildfires. The lawmakers called for the Administration to include at least $200 million for wildfire science in its Fiscal Year 2022 budget request.
- On September 24, 2020, Lofgren-authored wildfire prevention and power shutoff provisions passed the House. They were included in H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act.