(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee blocked an amendment that would have increased pay for Forest Service Firefighters. The Amendment would have provided $2.25 billion over 5 years to increase salaries and associated benefits to better recruit and retain additional US Forest Service Firefighters. Unfortunately, the amendment was rejected in a party line vote even though it was fully paid for by eliminating the new wasteful “Citizen Climate Corps”.
Rep. LaMalfa said, “Fires rage across the west. Over 2 million acres have already burned in Northern California alone and we are critically short of firefighters. Dismal $13 per hour pay for federal firefighters is one of the main reasons we cannot fill the vacant positions and retain them. Yet today, in a partisan move Democrats block pay increases for the very people who are trying to save rural America. Our Forest Service Firefighters are working weeks on end, 16 hours or longer each day, sleeping on the ground between shifts. Yet, we pay them less than someone flipping burgers. It’s shameful that partisan politics prevents paying these firefighters, especially when the pay increase is paid for by eliminating waste elsewhere in the budget. The fact that Democrats care more about their new “Citizens Climate Corps” than firefighters is ridiculous.”
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.
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