As we await the impending end of the First Session-112th Congress, there is cause for celebrating the great news that LWCF State Assistance was funded at $45 million (an increase of $5 million over FY11) and the competitive grant program proposed by the Department of Interior (DOI) was not. While it is a sheer Christmas miracle that LWCF State Assistance received more funding in a fiscal climate mandating programmatic cuts and eliminations, the more significant victory may be the Congressional directive specifying that zero State Assistance funds are to be used for a competitive grant program. Had DOI implemented this program, only 40 percent of the LWCF State Assistance funding would have gone to all fifty states at a time when states and local communities are in desperate need of funding for outdoor recreational resources.
The last few months, and especially the last few weeks have produced partisan battles and gridlock that far exceed what has become the norm. If we think about all that has, or has not, happened during just these last few weeks, we can appreciate even more how significant NRPA’s advocacy accomplishments really are.
So, to summarize, in the spirit of the season and with apologies to the traditional version, here are the Twelve Days of Gridlock.
Twelve days before Adjournment,
My Congress gave to me…
Eleven incumbents challenged
A dropping ten percent approval rating
Ninety angry freshmen
Eight pundits crowing
Seven Sunday talk shows
Sixty days to approve the Keystone pipeline
FIVE INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS!
Three stalled nominees
Two-month extensions (or not)
And a hike in Fannie Mae’s fees
Written by: Leslie Mozingo, The Ferguson Group