Bishop Statement on Continuing Resolution & Omnibus Package
"There are some significant gains for western and rural states in this legislation and I am especially pleased that we have established safeguards to limit long-term actions that may be taken toward implementation of the President's amnesty executive order. For states like Utah, it is especially important that this bill gives the Fish and Wildlife Service additional time to evaluate state progress on management and conservation of the greater sage grouse. States like Utah are making progress every day to collaborate with local communities and public land users to protect the species.
"I am also pleased that PILT will continue in FY2015 for counties surrounded by public lands. The compensation they receive to address the lack of tax revenue generated from federal land helps fund important community infrastructure that is typically funded through property taxes and other public uses. A similar program that funds communities in areas with National Forests known as the Secure Rural Schools program was not included in this legislation. I remain committed to ensuring SRS is addressed early in the 114th Congress.
"The nature of these bicameral and bipartisan packages is that they're extremely dynamic and far from perfect. Taxpayer dollars are a finite resource that should be appropriated and spent with utmost scrutiny and oversight. This is why I remain concerned about the status of the Eisenhower Memorial project and architect Frank Gehry's controversial design. Taxpayers have bankrolled the Eisenhower Memorial Commission and its staff, Gehry's architectural firm, and the widely unpopular design, for over a decade. After 14 years, there is little to show for the work and only a rough accounting of where the money was spent. I am pleased that this bill includes some safeguards to help get the project back on the right track toward an appropriate and fitting tribute to one of our nation's greatest leaders," said Congressman Bishop.
Specifically, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015:
· Delays the Fish and Wildlife Service's action and decision on whether or not the greater sage grouse should be listed as an endangered or threatened species to September 2015
· Provides $372,000,000 to the U.S. Department of Interior for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program. *This is in addition to the $70 million provided in the National Defense Authorization Act
· Includes safeguards to protect taxpayers from having to bankroll the estimated $140 million for construction of Frank Gehry's proposed design
· Prohibits the IRS from unfairly targeting Americans based on their personal, political, or professional connections
· Includes no funding for Race to the Top
· Includes no new funding for Obamacare