Chair McCollum Statement at Non-Tribal Programs Public Witness Hearing
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), Chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's first non-tribal programs public witness hearing:
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 our Ranking Member, Congressman David Joyce, of Ohio, and our vice-chair, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, of Maine. As Chair of this subcommittee, I am happy to bring back the important tradition of public witness days.
While we have continued to hold annual public witness hearings for American Indian’s and Alaska Natives, this is the first public witness hearing dedicated to non-tribal programs held by this subcommittee since March of 2015. Today, we will hear from more than 40 witnesses composed of a diverse range of partners, including the public, nonprofit organizations, and state and local agencies. Testimony will cover a diverse range of 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 2020 appropriations bill.
Before I turn to Mr. Joyce, 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 his or her 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 do 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 12:45 p.m. for the afternoon hearing. And with that, I am happy to yield to my friend, Mr. Joyce, for his remarks.