Doug LaMalfa, District 1’s representative in Congress, released the following statement today.
Over the last few weeks, I was happy to have several opportunities to highlight my priorities regarding farming policy, domestic energy, water, and forestry. As ranking member of the House Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, we held the first hearing of the year regarding the implementation of climate provisions in the previous farm bills. Congress should focus on voluntary conservation programs that have a proven track record of success. Farmers and ranchers have been working for years to improve and protect their land, the federal government should give them the tools they need to continue that good work and not helicopter-monitor their process.
As executive vice chair of the Congressional Western Caucus, forest revitalization and rebuilding our towns from forest fires remain a top priority for me. Many western states, but our district especially, were hit hard by another devastating fire season. In Northern California alone more than 2 million acres were scorched, and thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed. The west has been burning up at record rates the last few years, we need a far more aggressive approach in thinning our unmanaged, overgrown federal forests.
California alone has an estimated 35 million tons of waste biomass available annually that sits on our forest floor, left to burn as fuel for wildfires and decompose in our forests. Converting natural waste biomass into biofuel is a win-win-win for energy production, forest fire curtailment and job growth right here in our back yard. I was happy to meet with the folks from Butte County Fire Safe Council and Yosemite Clean Energy to discuss this issue and their new biofuels processing plant in Oroville, which is scheduled to break ground later this year. This facility will use fuels and vegetation from local wildfire protection programs, such as those carried out by the Butte County Fire Safe Council, and creates more than 60 full-time jobs in the area. I am a strong supporter projects like this, and we are in great need of additional domestic biofuels production. Plants like the one proposed will encourage more vegetation management, which will reduce fire risk in our forest towns, and help address the rising cost of energy in California.
Protecting property rights and limiting government intrusion into every aspect of life is more important now than ever before. Yet, the Biden Administration has revived outdated and overreaching ‘waters of the United States’ rules that will be disastrous for farmers, ranchers, foresters and landowners, not to mention give them whiplash from the sudden reversal. The rules Biden is proposing are too vague and burdensome for most to manage. Under this guidance any puddle, ditch or even mounded dirt on your property can suddenly be federally regulated. Costly federal permits from the Army Corps of Engineers could be required for even the simplest activity such as plowing to plant crops or building a patio behind your home. Why on earth should you have to get permission from the federal government to plow your field or build something in your back yard? I am fully opposed to this revised rule making and will be working with bipartisan support to keep this out-of-control regulation from becoming final.
Government funded drug use
There is a drug epidemic plaguing America. Instead of focusing on policies that get users the help they need, off the streets, and back to being healthy and productive Americans, the Biden Administration is actually putting drug paraphernalia right into the hands of users. Earlier last week, in the name of racial equality and “safe” drug use, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a solicitation for a $30 million grant to be used to distribute smoking kits (aka crackpipes) to users. After swift blowback from the public, the Biden Administration had to backtrack and clarify that, even though they asked for grant applications to give out crackpipes in the name of social justice, they aren’t going to now.
Unfortunately, while public outcry was able to stop the government from peddling out crackpipes, they’re still happily passing out heroine needles. This has been an ongoing issue for some time; the needle distribution program in Chico serves as a good example of how these programs hand out needles to drug users with zero supervision or concern for how or where they plan to use them. This has led to more infected needles in our neighborhoods with no real sign of it stopping anytime soon. Our parks, shopping centers, and even parking lots are being littered with potentially dangerous biohazards. These backwards programs are a danger to our towns and only enable drug use, homelessness, and rises in crime.
After Governor Newsom was caught violating his own mask mandate at an NFL game in Los Angeles with other Democrat officials and celebrities, he finally decided to repeal his overbearing mask mandate – but in reality, only for a select few. It irks me that after two years of encouraging us Californians to “do our part” and wear masks to protect others, we see him openly defying his own mandate yet again (remember his infamous dinner at French Laundry after he shut down the state and told us all to stay home?).
A few other states have also made efforts to lift mask restrictions, but in California specifically new guidance says vaccinated people will be “allowed” to go maskless indoors again, except for schoolchildren. While politicians and their famous friends can go maskless wherever they please, including at public schools, science has shown that mandatory masks and virtual learning have severely harmed students’ mental health, social and educational developments. A study from the Horace Mann Educators Corporation revealed that 53 percent of educators saw a significant loss of learning in their students over the past year when compared to previous years, and 57 percent estimated that their students were falling behind in their social-emotional progress. This is an unnecessary requirement; the Center for Disease Control acknowledges that COVID rates among children and adolescents are lower than among adults. Meanwhile, here in D.C. you’re not even allowed to eat in a restaurant without a photo ID and a vax card. You have to jump through more hoops to get dinner than you do to vote!
Re-open the Capitol
Unfortunately, our nation’s capitol is still mostly shut down to the public. Two years ago, people could come and see their Congress at work, meet with members and staff, learn about government activity, and take a tour of the Capitol and White House. Democrat leadership has barricaded our Capitol and are denying the American people their constitutional right to see their government in action.
It is long past time to re-open America, including opening our government back up to the public as our Founders intended. No mandates, no government control.
Opposing “kick-the-can” government funding
Last week Congress voted for a continuing resolution to extend government funding through March 11, 2022, after it was supposed to expire on Feb. 18. I couldn’t support this, as continuing resolutions are no way to fund the government. It especially harms military readiness and shouldn’t be used as a band-aid for a formal budget proposal. It also concerned me that this CR did not include a vaccine mandate prohibition provision. Government funding shouldn’t be used to enforce overreaching vaccine mandates that the courts have repeatedly found to be unconstitutional. It is also concerning that we are four months into Fiscal Year 2022 and Democrats have recklessly pushed through their spending reconciliation bill and soft-on-China plan instead of creating a formal budget plan. Congress has had plenty of time to come together and create a bipartisan and comprehensive FY22 formal budget plan, but instead the government was forced to face its second shutdown in months.