BUDGET WATCH: President's Budget Increases Spending for Government Land Acquisition
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2012 | Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman (202-225-2761)
President Obama’s FY2013 budget proposal released Monday includes $450 million to buy more federal land through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Despite the Federal government’s ballooning $15 trillion debt, the President is proposing a $160 million spending increase (58 percent) for government land acquisition compared to funding levels when he first took office.
The Federal government already owns nearly 30 percent of our nation’s land and has maintenance backlog that registers in the billions.
“I must again question the need to increase funding for the federal government to purchase more federal land,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings at today’s Full Committee hearing on the President’s budget proposal. “While the request for land acquisition was cut in half from last year, it still represents a $160 million spending increase compared to when President Obama took office. The Interior Department continues to have a maintenance backlog on federal lands that measures into the billions. The bottom line is that we should not be increasing spending for land acquisition when the government cannot maintain the land it already owns.”
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