HOUSE PASSES PROBLEM SOLVERS ENDORSED BILL TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE PUBLIC LANDS

July 22, 2020
Press Release
Bill now headed to President Trump’s desk where he has signaled he will sign it into law

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan, bicameral Great American Outdoors Act, one of Congress’ most significant investments in environmental conservation in a generation.


Endorsed by the Problem Solvers Caucus, the Great American Outdoors Act, provides full, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million every year and addresses the approximately $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands.  It was introduced in the House by Problem Solvers Representatives Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Kendra Horn (D-OK), John Katko (R-NY), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM). Representatives Cunningham and Fitzpatrick brought the bill to the Problem Solvers Caucus for endorsement. The companion bill in the Senate is sponsored by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).


"This vital legislation- which the Problem Solvers Caucus endorsed, and I proudly co-sponsored, will address the massive maintenance backlog impacting our National Parks and will invest in projects that will help create jobs during this economic crisis and in the future. As we continue social distancing, we must take care of our National Parks so Americans have places to enjoy nature and the great outdoors,” said Problem Solvers Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ). “I’m very blessed to have the most beautiful District in the State of New Jersey, with all 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail that run through the Garden State, as well as the magnificent Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. We must work together to preserve these natural treasures for our future generations." 


“America’s public lands are some of the most beautiful and majestic places in the world and they must be protected,” said Problem Solvers Co-Chair Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY). “I’m proud to see the House of Representatives pass this important legislation and look forward to seeing it signed into law.”


“It is an honor to lead the effort in the House to pass the Great American Outdoors Act”, said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “Today, the House passed bipartisan legislation that will deliver jobs to communities across the country, protect recreational access, preserve historic sites, and restore aging national park and public land infrastructure. For folks in the Lowcountry, this bill will protect some of our most beloved and treasured places, from the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Hunting Island State Park, and the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, to the Pitt Street Park and Folly Beach Boardwalk. I look forward to President Trump swiftly signing this legislation into law so that we can protect access to the great outdoors for generations of Americans to come.”


“I am thrilled the House has passed the Great American Outdoors Act,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. “This bipartisan, bicameral, and landmark legislation was endorsed by the Problem Solvers Caucus and is the most important conservation package in years, and will do incredible things for our economy, our public lands, and our country. The LWCF is a vital program that protects public lands and contributes millions to our economy, and I am pleased to see that it is now permanently authorized and funded. This landmark package also provides funding to address the large maintenance backlog in our parks, which will allow visitors to enjoy them for years to come. I’d like to thank Members of Congress, advocacy groups, and everyone else who fought hard to see this package head to the President’s desk to become law.”

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The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprised of 50 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).