The Office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced that the senator will serve as the Chair of the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, the Environment, and Other Related Agencies. This committee has wide-ranging jurisdiction over funding recommendations for the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Forest Service. These agencies oversee projects critical to Oregon’s forests, natural habitats, housing, coastal, tribal, and rural communities.
This Appropriations Subcommittee also considers budget requests for:
- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which supports seismic monitoring for volcanic and earthquake activity, including the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system operated in Oregon by the Oregon Hazards Lab in the Department of Earth Sciences at the UO
- The National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, which awards grants to faculty and programs such as UO libraries, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, , and the Oregon Folklife Network.
Merkley has served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, considered the one of the most powerful in Congress because of its role in allocating funding, since 2013.
A media release with more information about how the funding from this subcommittee benefits the state of Oregon can be found here.