Forest Service Chief Commits to Manchin: Secure Rural Schools Funding will be out within 30 days

February 25, 2020

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about the Administration’s budget request for the Forest Service for Fiscal Year 2021. Senator Manchin, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, pressed Chief Christiansen about the delayed Secure Rural Schools payments despite the funding being appropriated.

 “In December of last year, myself, the Chairman and members of this Committee, worked diligently to enact a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools program. Over 290,000 West Virginians really depend on that. They sent me letters, they were really excited. But even though we provided the funding, the money hasn’t been disbursed. What should I tell them? When will they get this money? And why is it taking so long to get it out the door?,” Senator Manchin asked.

“Senator Manchin we appreciate your leadership on Secure Rural Schools. It really does make a difference across the country in these rural counties with public lands. We are working with top priority. It will be out before the end of March. I’ve asked my folks to step it up to top priority to get it out,” Chief Christiansen said.

“So I should tell everyone back home it will be about thirty days late,” Senator Manchin said.

“Or less,” Chief Christiansen said.

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.