WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a committee business meeting.
At the business meeting, the committee advanced the nominations of Aurelia Skipwith to be director for the Fish and Wildlife Service and Katherine Lemos to be member and chairperson of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, and passed S. 2260, Save Our Seas 2.0: Improving Domestic Infrastructure to Prevent Marine Debris Act with a substitute amendment. The committee also advanced the following items:
- S. 2099, White Horse Hill National Game Preserve Designation Act; and
- 8 General Services Administration resolutions.
To watch the full business meeting, click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today we will consider two nominees, two bills, and 8 General Services Administration resolutions.
“We will consider two nominations – Aurelia Skipwith to be director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Katherine Lemos to be a member and chairperson of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
“The full committee held a hearing on both nominees earlier this month.
“Ms. Skipwith’s nomination to be director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received bipartisan praise from more than 80 groups and individuals, including: the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance; the Boone and Crockett Club’s Conservation Policy Committee; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the American Farm Bureau Federation; the Presidents of Howard and Purdue Universities; the President and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial; and a coalition of twenty-eight sportsmen and conservation groups.
“Congressman William Lacy Clay, who represents Missouri’s 1st Congressional District based in St. Louis, who was here to deliver a resounding endorsement of Ms. Skipwith when he introduced her at the nomination hearing.
“Congressman Clay testified, ‘to state the facts plainly, Ms. Skipwith is one of the most talented, hardest working and driven persons that I have ever known.’
“He noted, ‘If confirmed, Aurelia Skipwith will become the first African American to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is a historical nomination.’
“Dr. Lemos’ nomination to be a member and chairperson of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has been endorsed by – the former executive director and current deputy executive director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Accident Investigation and Prevention Office; and Marc Champion, a Boeing 787 pilot who is the former chair of several aviation safety committees for the Air Line Pilots Association.
“Professor Meshkati, an engineering and aviation safety professor at the University of Southern California, who has worked with the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board since its inception, wrote of Dr. Lemos – ‘I strongly believe that Dr. Lemos is the embodiment of professional excellence in accident investigation, whose impeccable technical credentials and leadership experience are an invaluable asset for the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.’
“Confirming Dr. Lemos is a priority.
“In December of this year, the Chemical Safety Board will be down to one member.
“I have called on the administration to fill both current and future vacancies at the agency.
“We cannot allow the agency to lose its quorum.
“Today, we will also consider two bills – S. 2260, Senator Sullivan’s and Senator Whitehouse’s Save Our Seas 2.0: Improving Domestic Infrastructure to Prevent Marine Debris Act, with a substitute amendment; and S. 2099, Senator Cramer’s White Horse Hill National Game Preserve Designation Act.
“The Save Our Seas Act addresses the important issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.
“The bill supports increased scientific research to better understand and address the root causes of plastic pollution, both here in the U.S. and around the world.
“It improves our waste management system, particularly with regard to recycling infrastructure.
“The White Horse Hill National Game Preserve Designation Act redesignates Sullys Hill National Game Preserve as the White Horse Hill National Game Preserve.
“Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the preserve is located within the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation near Devils Lake, North Dakota.
“The Spirit Lake tribe has requested the preserve be renamed ‘White Horse Hill,’ which is its traditional Dakota name.
“Lastly, we will also consider eight resolutions to approve prospectuses providing for General Services Administration leases.
“I urge my colleagues to support passage of each of the nominees, bills, and resolutions we are considering today.”