Published since 1946
Congress Acts on Great American Outdoors Act, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
Both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate recently passed legislation with implications for public lands and wildlife management. On June 17, the Senate passed S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act, by a bipartisan vote of 73-25. The bill provides full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund as well as a five-year trust fund to address the backlog of maintenance projects on federal lands and waters. Then on July 1, the House passed a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, H.R. 2 the Moving Forward Act that was amended to include the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, by a largely party line vote of 233-188.
The House has scheduled vote on the Great American Outdoors Act on July 22 where it is expected to pass and be signed into law by President Trump. However, opponents to the legislation are actively pushing to open the bill for debate and amendment on the House floor. The opposition largely stems from long-standing issues with permanently funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund federal land acquisition program. At the same time, the Moving Forward Act is unlikely to be considered in the Senate, though passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act in the House could create an opportunity to move the legislation within another vehicle in the Senate.