Chair McCollum Statement at Non-Tribal Public Witness Day
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's non-tribal public witness day:
Good morning, and welcome to the first of two public witness hearings being held today for non-tribal programs under the jurisdiction of the Interior and Environment Appropriations subcommittee.
I am pleased to be joined by Congressman Michael Simpson, of Idaho, and our vice-chair, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, of Maine. Additionally, I would like to welcome a visiting delegation from the Parliament of Georgia. We appreciate your interest in our legislative process and we hope you find our hearing instructive.
Last year when I became Chair of this subcommittee, I brought back the important tradition of public witness days for non-tribal programs. I am pleased that today through this hearing, more than 40 witnesses composed of a diverse range of partners, including the public, nonprofit organizations, and state and local agencies, will have the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee.
Today we will hear about numerous topics related to the jurisdiction of this subcommittee, including Arts and Humanities, the environment, public lands, and wildlife. I am eager to learn more about each of your priorities and I look forward to our discussions on these issues because I believe it will help to inform us as we begin to develop the 2021 appropriations bill.
Before I turn to Mr. Simpson, I would like to cover the hearing logistics. I will call each panel of witnesses to the table, one panel at a time. Each witness will have 5 minutes to present testimony and we will be using a timer to track the time. When the lights turn yellow, the witness will have 1 minute remaining to conclude their remarks. When the light blinks red, I will lightly tap the gavel and ask the witness to conclude their remarks so the next witness can begin.
Each witness’s full written statement will be introduced into the record, so please do not feel pressured to cover everything orally. After we hear the testimony of each witness on the panel, members will have an opportunity to ask questions. I would like to remind those in the hearing room that Committee Rules prohibit the use of cameras and audio equipment during the hearing by individuals without a House issued press credential. After this morning’s hearing concludes, we will adjourn, and reconvene at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon hearing. And with that, I am happy to yield to my friend, Mr. Simpson, for his remarks.