The Senate and House considered a budget resolution for fiscal year 2021 that includes reconciliation directives to relevant committees involved in COVID-19 relief measures. The House drafted and passed a $1.9 trillion reconciliation package, and the Senate is expected to follow suit. The Senate will only need a simple majority (51 votes) of senators to pass it, meaning that the chamber will bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster.
We expect leadership to consider a second reconciliation package that addresses infrastructure and economic stimulus measures, including provisions relevant to BHA’s mission. To learn more about the budget reconciliation process, click here.
Restoration Proposal to Enhance Salmon and Steelhead Recovery
BHA members voiced support for a wide-ranging proposal by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) that would invest $33.5 billion to facilitate restoration of wild salmon and steelhead fisheries in the Columbia and Lower Snake rivers while sustaining agriculture and economic interests.
Read BHA's response to this proposal.
Public Lands Package
The House passed the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act (H.R. 803) this month. H.R. 803 consists of nine bills that would designate about 1.49 million acres of public land as wilderness, incorporate more than 1,000 river miles as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and ensure that wildlife habitat across approximately 1.3 million acres of public land will remain permanently intact. The bills are:
- Grand Canyon Protection Act, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ),
- San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA),
- Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation and Working Forests Act, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA),
- Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA),
- Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA),
- Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO),
- Colorado Wilderness Act, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO),
- Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA),
- Southwestern Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
The Arizona, California, Colorado and Washington chapters sent a letter of support to House leadership.
DOI, USDA and EPA Nominations
President Biden has nominated many officials to fill his cabinet, and BHA is particularly interested in three: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) as secretary for the Department of the Interior, Tom Vilsack and secretary for Agriculture and Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Vilsack was confirmed on the Senate floor on Feb. 23rd , while Regan awaits Senate floor consideration. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a confirmation hearing on Haaland’s nomination on Feb. 23rd and we expect a committee vote in the coming weeks.
BHA supports these nominees and will work with relevant senators to advance Regan and Haaland through the chamber.
Press release on Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination.
Press release on Michael Regan’s nomination.
Press release on Tom Vilsack's nomination.
Biden Administration’s EOs
The Biden administration announced multiple executive orders related to BHA’s conservation work. Below are links to our statements.