One of Western New York’s greatest assets is its proximity to Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are a unique national treasure with global significance, containing 20% of the world’s supply and 95% of America’s supply of surface freshwater. They are also a vital engine of economic activity – supporting 1.5 million jobs, $62 billion in wages, a $7 billion fishery, and providing clean, affordable hydroelectricity. As a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, protecting the health of the Great Lakes is one of Brian’s most important priorities.
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Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved an appropriation package funding various government programs and operations for fiscal year 2021.
“These are challenging times for our nation,” Higgins said. “This legislation invests in our communities and builds a path to a healthier and stronger America.”
Below are highlights of the package with a focus on several aspects important to Western New York:
Transportation-Housing & Urban Development
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a bill providing authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water projects, studies, and Civil Works missions.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved a legislative package providing funding for fiscal year 2021. The legislation includes four bills including appropriations for: State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. The new federal fiscal year begins October 1, 2020. Additional appropriation bills are scheduled for a vote next week.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives has approved the Great American Outdoors Act. The legislation, cosponsored by Higgins, invests in the nation’s natural resources and fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually.
Public parks and outdoor spaces have become increasingly cherished and frequented during the ongoing pandemic, but a recent visit to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor left Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) wondering why the public is being locked out of so many outdoor destinations.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced approval of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. The bill, co-sponsored by Higgins, dedicates more than $1.5 trillion to rebuilding America’s infrastructure and creating American jobs.
(To access video go to: https://youtu.be/zHb4yEFHlwo)
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through a partnership with the Great Lakes Commission, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), in collaboration with the City of Buffalo, NYSDEC, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, and the Wilson Foundation, has authorized a request to provide $1,056,914 in federal funding toward the project transforming Buffalo’s Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) recently urged the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to adapt and deploy the innovative HABITATS (Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment, and Transformation System) pilot program on Lake Erie to fight harmful algal blooms in their next water infrastructure bill. The Congressman proposed policy text for the next Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), major legislation that dictates the United States’ Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects and practices.
As the United States prepares to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is deeply concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s lax policies are a threat to the incredible progress made to improve Western New York’s air and water quality.
On March 26, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memo reporting it is ceasing all enforcement actions during the coronavirus pandemic. This is just the latest in nearly 100 environmental rule rollbacks by the current Administration.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) testified before the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee urging continued investments in the protection of the Great Lakes. His remarks come as members of the committee prepare to draft legislation reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act of 2020.