Chair Pingree Statement at Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for the Department of the Interior Hearing
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for the Department of the Interior:
I’d like to welcome Secretary Deb Haaland to her first hearing since being confirmed as the 54th Secretary of the Interior and first ever Native American to serve as a Cabinet Secretary. We congratulate our former colleague on assuming this important new role and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Department of the Interior, and other initiatives the President has introduced.
Joining the Secretary is Rachael Taylor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management, and Budget. Prior to this position, Ms. Taylor was the Senate Appropriations clerk for the Interior Subcommittee. The Department made a wise decision enlisting a long-time appropriator.
Today’s hearing will primarily focus on the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Department of the Interior. Although the administration is still developing the full request, the budget blueprint makes clear that President Biden is committed to making long-overdue investments to preserve our planet and fight the climate crisis.
Encouraged by what has been outlined, specifically, the return of science as the foundation for decision making, the focus on climate change and what needs to be done to maintain the healthy ecosystems we depend upon, environmental justice, and much more. The request is also heartened by the Executive Orders and American Jobs Plan the President has initiated.
This budget is a refreshing change from draconian budgets the Committee has received over the last four years. I look forward to learning more details about how the Department plans to correct and redirect efforts to advance the important work of being a good steward of our Nation’s natural and cultural resources for future generations. I am also interested in how you will strengthen collaboration across the Department of the Interior’s bureaus and other federal agencies, NGO’s, and stakeholders.
We recognize interrelatedness between the health and well-being of species and habitats, the impact anthropogenic actions have on clean air and clean water, the need to preserve biodiversity and the other important ecosystem services we rely upon to ensure our economic prosperity, and the American public’s health and well-being. The President has laid out an ambitious agenda and hope today’s discussion will be an opportunity to discuss goals and objectives you have established for the Department to support that agenda.