WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The U.S. Senate approved a $2.8 billion plan to maintain and improve national parks and other public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act passed with a 73-25 vote on Wednesday, sending the bill to the House, where it's also expected to pass.
The Great American Outdoors Act was co-sponsored by Maine Senator Susan Collins and included legislation from Senator Angus King.
"Listen, it's hard to get 73 votes around here on what time it is," King joked in an interview with NEWS CENTER Maine via Zoom on Wednesday, "so, to do what we did today is really something of an accomplishment."
King says in 2019, people spent $41.7 billion while visiting national parks and surrounding areas, boosting economies.
The bill would spend about $900 million dollars a year on preserving parks like Acadia National Park in Maine, which according to Senator King, is $65 million dollars behind in much-needed maintenance work. Acadia National Park brings in more than 3 million visitors a year, which is twice the population of Maine.
“It’s probably the most significant conservation bill that’s been passed in the Congress in the last 50 years," King said previously about The Great American Outdoors Act.
“The Great American Outdoors Act will help to ensure both current and future generations can enjoy the pristine beauty of our natural resources in Maine and across the county,” Collins said in a statement Wednesday.
The Act's revenue would come from on and offshore energy development.