Five McSally Amendments Included in Appropriations Spending Bill Passed by House
WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Representative Martha McSally successfully included five amendments with significant wins for Southern Arizona in the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act which passed the House today. The five amendments she authored will fund wildfire prevention, improve access to National Parks, support seniors, and reimburse state and local governments for public safety costs they incur housing and caring for criminals.
“When I met with all four Arizona border sheriffs less than two months ago, they expressed their need to be reimbursed for the cost of taking care of business that is clearly the federal government’s responsibility. Since 2009, Arizona counties have absorbed more than $310 million incarcerating unlawfully present individuals who have committed crimes in the United States. I promised the Sheriffs I would fight on their behalf, and today the House passed my amendment to increase funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)—the grant program that reimburses state and local governments for these costs. Arizona taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for protecting our nation from drug cartels and human trafficking, which diverts our Sheriff’s resources away from other law enforcement priorities.
“While this consolidated appropriations bill is not perfect and is the first step in the process to get a final bill signed into law, I worked with the Appropriations Committee to improve the bill with some of Southern Arizona’s priorities. With my amendments, the bill contains added funds to mitigate wildfire hazards. It will help tackle backlog of deferred or delayed National Parks Service maintenance projects throughout the nation and in Arizona. It allocates funding for critical, cost-effective and person-centered services to help older adults age in place in their homes and communities for as long as possible. I am committed to supporting our border communities, protecting our national parks, supporting and caring for seniors, and ensuring Arizona has the resources to fight wildfires, and my amendments in this bill are wins on all those fronts.”
Watch Rep. McSally present one of her amendments on the floor below:
A summary of each of her amendments is below:
SCAAP Amendment: Increases State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) by $10 million. This grant program reimburses states and localities for the costs of incarcerating unlawfully present individuals who have committed crimes in the United States. In July, Congresswoman McSally convened a meeting with all four Sheriffs serving along Arizona’s southwest border during which the sheriffs asked for financial assistance. This amendment is a direct response to that request.
NPS Maintenance Amendment: Increases the National Park Service's Facility Maintenance and Operations account by $9.692 million to help address longstanding deferred park maintenance needs. The National Parks Service currently has an $11.9 billion dollar backlog, which is a figure that has increased steadily since 2009. Arizona has $565 million in delayed or deferred projects, one of the largest backlogs of any state in the country—that includes $12.9 million at Saguaro National Park and $10.3 million at Chiricahua National Monument.
USFS Hazardous Fuels: Increases the Forest Service’s National Forest System Hazardous Fuels account by $3 million to mitigate wildfire hazards and lessen catastrophic fires and their threat to public and firefighter safety, and damage to property.
- : Increases funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III B supportive services account $14.2 million. This would benefit services like the Pima Council on Aging which has a long history of developing programs to improve the lives of older residents in Tucson and throughout Pima County.
BLM Forest Management Amendment: Increases funding for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Forest Management Program, which manages and conserves 58 million acres of forest and woodland in 12 western States and Alaska.
The Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act will fund the Federal government through the end Fiscal Year 2018.