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 S. 3051, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, the nomination of Robert Feitel to be inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and 19 General Services Administration resolutions.
To watch the full business meeting, click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today we will consider one bill, one nomination, and 19 General Services Administration resolutions.
“Today we will consider S. 3051, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, or ‘ACE Act’.
“I introduced the ACE Act with Senator Carper.
“Senators Cramer, Cardin, Capito, and Van Hollen have joined as cosponsors.
“I thank them for working with me to craft this important piece of legislation.
“The ACE Act is a comprehensive, bipartisan wildlife conservation bill.
“It protects both wildlife and wildlife habitat, while protecting livestock from predatory species.
“It addresses threats to communities and native wildlife from invasive species, as well as from emerging disease.
“More specifically, the bill reauthorizes important environmental programs, including – the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act, and the Chesapeake Bay Program,
“The ACE Act also enshrines in statute partnerships among public agencies and other interested parties that promote fish conservation.
“The ACE Act addresses the terrible, degenerative, highly contagious brain disease known as Chronic Wasting Disease.
“We have heard in several hearings how Chronic Wasting Disease impacts wildlife, including degeneration of the brain, loss of bodily control, and untimely death.
“Detected nearly 40 years ago, Chronic Wasting Disease has spread to 26 states and 4 Canadian provinces.
“The ACE Act establishes a Chronic Wasting Disease Task Force at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“This task force will bring states, relevant federal agencies, scientists, managers, and farmers to the table.
“Together they can better coordinate prevention and control efforts, and target future research to address unanswered questions.
“The ACE Act helps livestock producers better manage and cope with interactions between livestock and wildlife.
“It authorizes funds for livestock producers to carry out non-lethal activities that reduce livestock loss due to predation by federally protected species.
“It also compensates ranchers and farmers for livestock loss due to predation.
“The ACE Act also authorizes the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue permits to livestock producers that will help prevent black vultures and ravens from killing newborn calves and lambs.
“The ACE Act also includes studies that will help inform how to improve successful conservation and recovery of endangered and threatened species.
“The bill supports recreational hunting and sportfishing, and the wildlife conservation dollars these activities generate, by authorizing financial and technical assistance under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to states for the promotion of hunting and recreational shooting.
“Together these provisions will make America’s wildlife healthier, and more abundant while allowing rural communities to thrive at the same time.
“I encourage all my colleagues to support it.
“Today, we will also consider the nomination of Robert Feitel to be inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“The Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing on Mr. Feitel’s nomination earlier this month.
“I would like to thank the chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Braun, for holding the hearing and assisting the full committee in considering Mr. Feitel’s nomination.
“Mr. Feitel is well qualified and will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this important position.
“Lastly, we will consider 19 resolutions to approve prospectuses providing for General Services Administration leases.
“I urge my colleagues to support passage of the bill, the nominee, and the resolutions we are considering today.”