Westerman Responds to Obama's Request for Change in Wildfire Funding

September 16, 2015
Press Release


WASHINGTON -- Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-Hot Springs), lead author of H.R. 2647 - the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 - issued the following statement in response to the Obama Administration's request that Congress change how the United States pays for wildfire suppression efforts:

“We must change the way wildfire response is paid for, but we must also focus on prevention," Westerman said. "At a time when the western United States is seeing catastrophic wildfires, it is clear that failed policies and bureaucrats in Washington are the problem. The president’s urging to address wildfire funding is only treating the symptom, not the disease following a D.C. protocol of throwing money at a problem rather than addressing the root cause. That is why the House passed my bill, the Resilient Federal Forests Act, in July. It addresses both issues simultaneously. If the president is serious about addressing funding for firefighting in the West, then my bill should be quickly considered by the Senate and signed into law by the president. The Resilient Federal Forests Act addresses the funding and cuts costs in the future through active forest management, which reduces wildfire risk.”

The Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 passed the House on July 9, 2015, by a vote of 262-167. The yeas included 19 Democrats. To learn more about the bill, click here to visit the House Committee on Natural Resources.