WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) extended an offer of bipartisanship to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during her first appearance before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, where she testified about the Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Department of the Interior.
“Secretary Haaland, conserving our nation’s natural resources, preserving our diverse cultural heritage, and upholding our trust responsibilities are goals we all share,” said Joyce. “While we will disagree on many of the details, we remain united in pursuit of these goals. May we begin this new working relationship united in the recognition of this shared commitment. And as our disagreements are amplified in the media and threaten to divide us, I hope we can remember that we are in this together, and that only by working together will we achieve lasting solutions. We worked well together during your time in Congress, and I’m committed to continuing to do so.”
During his opening remarks, Joyce touched upon topics where he sees opportunity for bipartisanship, including addressing climate change and building a smooth transition to a cleaner energy future. He also highlighted some of his concerns about the Department’s budget request, including the current unsustainable level of federal spending. While Joyce recognized that much of it was justified to overcome the pandemic and subsequent economic devastation, he reiterated that the federal government must find a way to live within its means so that future generations are not saddled with even more economic burden than what already awaits them.
During the hearing, Joyce asked the Secretary about her recent announcement to form a new unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services to assist with work related to missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives. As a Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, Joyce believes Congress should take action to address the persistently high rates of violence experienced by Native women and men. He also pressed the Secretary about whether she intends to keep the Interior Department’s Joint Opioid Reduction Task Force with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as what support is included in the request for ongoing Great Lakes restoration projects that Interior carries out in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
You can watch the full hearing, including Joyce’s opening remarks and Q&A with Secretary Haaland, here.