Rooney votes against bill preventing oil drilling in the Everglades

Seismic trucks in Big Cypress 10-3-17Seismic trucks explore for oil deposits in Big Cypress National Preserve.    (Photo: Conservancy of Southwest Florida)

483 days (1 year, 3 months, 29 days) since Rep. Francis Rooney has met constituents in an open, public town hall forum.

June 20, 2019 by David Silverberg

Yesterday, June 19, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-19-Fla.) voted against House Resolution 2740, a spending bill that includes prohibitions against oil drilling in the Everglades.

Also opposing the bill was Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R-25-19).

The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 226 to 203. It will now be considered by the Senate.

The massive, nearly $1 trillion spending bill, which primarily funds the federal departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, has an amendment that puts a one-year moratorium on the issuance of wetland permits by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The moratorium covers the 2020 fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020.

“We must do all we possibly can to protect our sensitive River of Grass,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-23-Fla.), declared in a statement following the vote. “Drilling within the Everglades Protection Area is reckless, rapacious and symbolizes just how much those who advocate for the senseless pursuit of fossil fuels will risk, even if it destroys our most treasured ecosystems. It’s absurd it even has to be said, but we must fight any drilling in the Everglades.” A company has applied to do exploratory drilling in western Broward County, part of Wasserman Schultz’s district.

“This appropriations package contains nearly $1 trillion in discretionary spending and is $176 billion above current spending caps,” complained Rooney in a statement. “Even with all this excessive spending, Democrats inserted language to explicitly prohibit any funding for securing our southern border – which seems to be the only area where they have found a passion for spending constraints. Congress has a responsibility to address its spending addiction in a serious manner, not by playing politics with border security. Equally as bad, the legislation is openly hostile to those of us that believe in the sanctity of life.”

Rooney also opposed provisions in the bill that support a woman’s right to choose. Those included providing grants to Planned Parenthood and the bill’s opposition to what is known as the “Mexico City policy,” a Trump administration policy that prohibits federal funding for humanitarian organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals. He also objected to funding in the bill for Affordable Care Act “navigators,” people who help others apply for health insurance.

Liberty lives in light

© 2019 by David Silverberg

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