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the forest

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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Morning Business August 6, 2015
Jeff Merkley, D-OR
"Mr. President, yesterday, the Forest Service announced that for the first time in its 110-year history, it is spending more than 50 percent of its budget just to fight wildfires. The Forest Service expects this problem to keep getting worse. Within a decade, they are projecting that firefighting costs will rise to two thirds of the Forest Service budget. The Forest Service can no longer sustain these costs of fighting wildfires while continuing other critical functions of managing our Federal forests. It is long overdue that Congress eliminate the vicious cycle of fire borrowing, where the Forest Service is forced to dig further and further into its budget to fight fires at the expense of critical work to reduce hazardous fuels from the forest and other forest management. I am very grateful that we have such a strong bipartisan group of colleagues working together on this critical matter. I thank my colleagues who are joining me today, and I note that it is this kind of bipartisan cooperation that gets the issues done, along with the strong leadership of Senator Wyden who has championed this issue with a bipartisan bill for the last two Congresses, in addition to the strong leadership of Senator Murkowski which allowed us to take a big step in the right direction in the Interior Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016. It is crucial to our communities facing threats of wildfire that we keep this cooperation going. I will keep working with my colleagues to solve this urgent budgetary crisis."
Federal Wildfire Budgeting System August 5, 2015
Ron Wyden, D-OR
"Just today, the Forest Service released a report that makes the very clear point that, for the first time in its history, the Forest Service is routinely spending more than half of its budget battling wildfires. They note that the cost of fire suppression could well increase to almost $1.8 billion by 2025. This vicious cycle of underfunding prevention work while huge infernos burn up Federal fire suppression accounts is going to get worse, and what we are going to see as it does is the Forest Service becoming the fire service. That is not in America’s interest. It is particularly damaging to my part of the country."
Funding The Federal Government August 5, 2015
Harry Reid, D-NV
"There is a legislative rider to undermine the President’s work to address the dangers of climate change. And the dangers of climate change exist. Spread across all the news today is the fact that the Forest Service is going to be spending 75 percent of its money fighting fires in the future. There will be no money left for anything other than fighting fires."
Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act Of 2015—Motion To Proceed— Continued August 4, 2015
Ron Wyden, D-OR
"Mr. President, as the Senate prepares for the month of August in our home States, I want to discuss tonight what I believe to be an urgent issue: The West is on fire. There is a really serious prospect that my part of the country is going to get hit by what I call the terrible trifecta—drought, high temperatures, and enormous fuel load on the forest floor. When you couple that with a lightning strike—which is not exactly a rarity in my part of the world—all of a sudden you can have on your hands an inferno. The fires are getting bigger, they are lasting longer, and they are doing more damage."
National Security, The Rule Of Law, And Planned Parenthood Videos July 28, 2015
Steve King, R-IA
"And cavalries don’t operate very well in the forest, Mr. Speaker, and that is how the Charles Martel, Charles The Hammer’s infantry defeated them there and chased them out of Tours and across the plains and left their bones scattered a long ways back towards Spain. That was 732 AD."

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