WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) voted to pass another standalone appropriations bill to fully fund the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fiscal year 2019. This bill will help provide much needed relief to farmers across Illinois’ 17th District already hit by the President’s trade war by resuming the EPA’s approval process of year-round E-15 sales. Re-opening the EPA will also allow the agency to recommence inspections of drinking water systems, waste management and chemical facilities – protecting the health and well-being of Illinois families.
“As if our family farmers weren’t already bearing the brunt of this Administration’s impulsive policies, the closure of the EPA is delaying the implementation of year-round sales of E-15 which would have provided much needed relief to corn growers across Illinois,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “For the sake of our agricultural economy, it is time to put this shutdown to an end, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate take up this bipartisan bill they’ve previously supported.”
This week House Democrats passed a series of standalone appropriation bills to provide immediate relief to American’s impacted by President Trump’s shutdown. Today’s appropriations bill is virtually identical to bipartisan legislation that previously passed the Senate – providing the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency with $35.9 billion in discretionary funding.
This legislation will allow the Department of the Interior and the EPA to resume the following activities:
- Approval of year-round E-15 sales – Due to the shutdown, the EPA is unable to approve the sale of year-round E-15 which would provide much needed relief to farmers already coping with the lowest net farm income in decades.
- Environmental safety inspections – The EPA has been forced to halt all inspections of our drinking water systems, hazardous waste management and chemical facilities, potentially jeopardizing the safety of our communities.
- Keeping our National Parks safe- Funding the Department of the Interior will restore all services to our National parks, ensuring our nation’s most valuable treasures remain a safe and clean place for all Americans.