The House Rules Committee, in determining potential changes to the Energy and Water appropriations package, blocked U.S. Congressman Brian Mast’s (FL-18) amendment to fully fund the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration program from even receiving a vote on the House Floor.
The proposed amendment would have increased funding to $725 million to support Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects, such as the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Southern Storage Reservoir and other efforts to stop toxic discharges in Florida’s waterways.
“In addition to improving public health by keeping toxic discharges out of our communities, restoring the Everglades protects thousands of animal and plant species and would create upwards of 70,000 jobs,” Rep. Mast said. “That’s why it’s disappointing that repeated efforts to get the necessary resources for this program have been blocked by Democrats in Congress, but I will continue to fight for this critical funding.”
Earlier this year, Rep. Mast joined the Florida Congressional delegation in urging President Joe Biden to include $725 million for Everglades restoration in his budget request. After President Biden failed to include this amount in his budget request, Rep. Mast submitted a request to the Appropriations Committee to include the full amount in the bill. As currently drafted, however, the bill includes a lower amount of $350 million. Rep. Mast’s amendment would have increased the amount to the original request of $725 million.