Daines Rallies Senators in Support of LWCF Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Steve Daines today led a coalition of Senators in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), an important tool for increasing public access to public lands, on the Senate floor.

Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Richard Burr (R-NC) joined Daines on the Senate floor to urge their House and Senate colleagues to reauthorize LWCF and not allow authorization to lapse.

“We’re not going to let this conversation die. We’re going to continue to fight for the permanent reauthorization of LWCF. It is a tool for public access to ensure that Montanans and Americans can have access to their public lands,” Daines stated on the Senate floor this afternoon. “It is vital that we permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and do not allow authorization to lapse.”

Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.

Click here to download Daines’ remarks.

Daines is a cosponsor of S.338, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) to secure a permanent solution for LWCF. Daines is only the Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to cosponsor S.338. 

Daines has been actively working to secure funding for LWCF. Daines successfully included an amendment in this year’s Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to increase LWCF programs by nearly $14 million, bringing the overall total funding for LWCF to the FY2015 enacted level of $306 million.

Daines also helped secure permanent reauthorization of LWCF in the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, which passed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier this year.

Additionally, Daines has consistently championed LWCF both in the House and the Senate. Daines recently sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Harry Reid urging them to prioritize action to reauthorize LWCF. The letter is available here.

Below are excerpts from Daines’ floor remarks:

“We can still do the right thing. We can still reauthorize this important program. 

“There’s a lot of options on the table to get this done. We can still do the right thing. We need to double down our efforts and reauthorize this most important program.  

“I’m a proud cosponsor of multiple pieces of legislation to make LWCF permanent and I’m continuing to fight to reauthorize this program. 

“In fact, I’m the only Republican member on the Senate Energy and Resources Committee to cosponsor S. 338 – that’s Senator Burr’s legislation that will secure a permanent solution for LWCF.

“Permanent reauthorization to LWCF is also included in the Senate Energy Policy Modernization Act. 

“It passed the Committee on a large bipartisan vote. In the coming days, I think the momentum behind reauthorization is only going to grow stronger.  

“We have evidence of that here today as I’m joined by a number of my colleagues who support LWCF.  

“We’re not going to let this conversation die. We’re going to continue to fight for the permanent reauthorization of LWCF. It is a tool for public to ensure that Montanans and Americans can have access to their public lands.  

“This is not about a land grab. This is a land solution.  

“In conclusion, I’m hopeful the momentum that we’re seeing here in the United States Senate will lead the House to prioritize LWCF reauthorization in the near future. 

“It is vital that we permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund and do not allow authorization to lapse.  

“We have less than 11 hours and this program will lapse. 

“We need to get reauthorization passed to get on the President’s desk and get this signed.”