Washington, DC (July 11, 2007)- Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Montana) has introduced legislation to provide an $800 million emergency trust fund for the Forest Service and Interior Department to fight wildfires without diverting funds from other agency programs, a practice that has become commonplace in recent years. The money, to be supplemented in future years, would be used to cover 80 percent of firefighting costs above the annual appropriated amount.
The Baucus measure would also take money out of the regular appropriations process, but it presumably would not count against the agency’s budget totals. The budget hasn’t yet been assigned a number or posted online by the government printing office.
For more information, visit the Office of Senator Max Baucus.