众议院批准法案帮助西部扑灭野火, 干旱

该措施结合 49 单独的账单,并会增加消防员的工资和福利, 为受气候变化影响的社区提高复原力和缓解项目, protect watersheds and make it easier for wildfire victims to get federal assistance.

Across America, the impacts of climate change continue to worsen, and in this new normal, historic droughts and record-setting wildfires have become all too common,” Rep说. Joe Neguse, D-科洛。, the bill’s chief co-sponsor.

Colorado has experienced increasingly devastating wildfires in recent years, including the Marshall fire last year that caused more than $ 513 million in damage and destroyed nearly 1,100 homes and buildings in Boulder County.

PORTLAND’S FOREST PARK FIRE SPARKED BY DISCARDED CIGARETTE, 官员说

A firefighter extinguishes flames as the Oak Fire crosses Darrah Road in Mariposa County, 加州, 七月 22, 2022.

A firefighter extinguishes flames as the Oak Fire crosses Darrah Road in Mariposa County, 加州, 七月 22, 2022. (美联社照片/杰克登普西, 文件)

What once were wildfire seasons are now wildfire years,” Neguse said. “For families across the country who have lost their homes due to these devastating wildfires and for the neighborhoods impacted by drought, we know that we need to apply a whole-of-government approach to support community recovery and bolster environmental resiliency. This is a bill that we believe meets the moment for the West.

The bill was approved 218-199 as firefighters in California battled a blaze that forced the evacuation of thousands of people near Yosemite National Park and crews in North Texas sought to contain another fire.

One Republican, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, voted in favor of the bill, while Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader was the only Democrat to oppose it.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where Sen. 黛安·费恩斯坦(Dianne Feinstein), D-Calif。, has sponsored a similar measure.

Both the House and Senate bills would permanently boost pay and benefits for federal wildland firefighters. President Biden signed a measure last month giving them a hefty raise for the next two years, a move that affects more than 16,000 firefighters and comes as much of the West braces for another difficult wildfire season.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., 剩下, 和代表. 八月Pfluger, R-Texas, 对, listen as Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-方舟, talks to the media following a tour of a Diamondback Energy oil rig Feb. 10, 2021, in Midland, 德州.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., 剩下, 和代表. 八月Pfluger, 德州, 对, listen as Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-方舟, talks to the media following a tour of a Diamondback Energy oil rig Feb. 10, 2021, in Midland, 德州. (美联社照片/杰克登普西, 文件)

KENTUCKY FLOODING: 至少 3 死, HUNDREDS OF HOMES COULD BE DESTROYED, 政府部门. BESHEAR SAYS

Pay raises for the federal firefighters had been included in last year’s $ 1 万亿基础设施法案, but the money was held up as federal agencies studied recruitment and retention data to decide where to deliver them. The raise approved by Biden was retroactive to Oct. 1, 2021, and expires Sept. 30, 2023.

The House bill would make the pay raises permanent and sets minimum pay for federal wildland firefighters at $ 20 每小时, or nearly $ 42,000 一年. It also raises eligibility for hazardous-duty pay and boosts mental health and other services for firefighters. The bill is named after smokejumper Tim Hart, who died fighting a wildfire in New Mexico last year.

The West is hot — hotter than ever. It is dry, and when it is windy, the West is on fire,” Rep说. Kim Schrier, D-Wash. “And we are seeing this every year because of climate change. That’s why this bill is so important.

众议院议长南希·佩洛西, D-Calif。, called the billa major victory for Californians — and for the country.” 的 Oak Fire, the largest wildfire 今年到目前为止, “is ravaging our state,” 她说. “同时, countless of our communities regularly suffer lack of rainfall that can kill crops and further fuel fires.

Savino Sanchez holds his mother-in-law's dog as he and his family search through the remains of their home in Monte Vista, 可乐, 四月 22, 2022.

Savino Sanchez holds his mother-in-law’s dog as he and his family search through the remains of their home in Monte Vista, 可乐, 四月 22, 2022. (美联社照片/杰克登普西, 文件)

KENTUCKY FLOODING DEATH TOLL RISES TO 25, WITH MORE RAIN FORECAST FOR DISASTER AREAS

众议院法案 would deliverurgently needed resourcesto combat fires and droughts, “which will only increase in frequency and intensity due to the climate crisis,” 佩洛西说. 账单包括 $ 500 million to preserve water levels in key reservoirs in the drought-stricken Colorado River and invest in water recycling and desalination.

Republicans denounced the measure aspolitical messaging,” noting that firefightershourly pay has already been increased above $ 20 大多数情况下. The House bill does not appropriate additional money for the Forest Service or other agencies, and without such an increase, the Forest Service says it would have to lay off about 470 wildland firefighters.

代表. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas, the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, called it “过分的” that Democrats would seek to enact provisions that could lead to firefighter layoffs in the midst of a devastating wildfire season.

Democrats are finally waking up to the wildfire and drought crises, exacerbated by years of forest mismanagement and a lack of long-term water storage. 不幸, Democrats’ proposals are anything but solutions,” Westerman said.

He accused Democrats of failing to follow science showing the need to manage forests before fires begin and said Democratsfail to construct the kind of long-term infrastructure needed to make communities resilient to droughtwhile prioritizingliberal talking pointsabout climate change.

代表. Joe Neguse, D-科洛。, talks during a news conference updating the Colorado wildfire damage after touring the impacted area Jan. 2, 2022, in Boulder, 科洛.

代表. Joe Neguse, D-科洛。, talks during a news conference updating the Colorado wildfire damage after touring the impacted area Jan. 2, 2022, in Boulder, 科洛. (美联社照片/杰克登普西, 文件)

CLIMATE CHANGE IS HERE AND CONGRESS MUST ACT NOW TO CREATE A CLEANER, HEALTHIER WORLD

Neguse called that accusation outrageous and noted that many of the bills included in the wildfire/drought legislation are Republican proposals.

众议院多数党领袖斯坦尼·霍耶, D-Md。, said the bill was important to the whole country — not just the West, where wildfires and drought are a daily reality.

We are one nation indivisible, and if one part of us is burning, we are all burning,” 霍耶 说.

Besides boosting firefighter pay, the bill enhances forest management projects intended to reduce hazardous fuels such as small trees and underbrush that can make wildfires far more dangerous. It also establishes grant programs to help communities affected by air pollution from wildfires and improve watersheds damaged by wildfire.

Republicans called the thinning projects — which also include prescribed burns and removal of vegetation — meaningless without waivers of lengthy environmental reviews that can delay forest treatment by years.

The White House said in a statement that it supports efforts to address climate change, wildfires and drought but wants towork with the Congress to ensure the many provisions in the (法案) avoid duplication with existing authorities and administration efforts.″

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