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January 16, 2020

U.S. Representatives Panetta, Lamalfa Lead Over 80 Members in Recognizing U.S. FIrefighters Combatting Devastating Bushfires in Australia

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize the over 200 American firefighters who have provided their services to combat the bushfires currently ravaging the Australian continent. The resolution also honors the longstanding partnership between the United States and Australia to share critical firefighting resources during times of crisis.

Looking ahead, this resolution expresses the importance of continued cooperation and greater collaboration between the United States and Australia to share research, technology, and best practices related to wildfire mitigation and suppression and to address underlying factors driving extended and more intense wildfire years in both countries.

“We are so grateful to these American firefighters for their service to our communities and for their willingness to travel and fight fires for our friends from down under,” said Congressman Panetta.  “The United States and Australia have shared firefighting resources, including specialist firefighters, for over 15 years. I hope that our nations can continue to work together to not only share critical firefighting resources, but also to mitigate the underlying factors, including climate change, driving extended and more intense wildfire seasons in both countries.”

“These American firefighters have travelled across the world to fight the devastating bushfires in Australia. This kind of effort deserves to be commended,” said Congressman LaMalfa. “Both the United States and Australia have shared firefighters and critical firefighting resources for 15 years, including when wildfires devastated Northern California in 2018. We need to continue to build this relationship and collaborate to fight and prevent future wildfires in both of our homes.”

“We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support for Australia and the Australian people as we deal with bushfire recovery. We thank the members of Congress who have sponsored today’s Resolution, especially Congressman Panetta and the Co-Chairs of the Friends of Australia Caucus. The messages of support, firefighting assistance and donations from across the U.S. in support of Australia in our time of need reflects the enduring bond between our two nations and over 100 years of true mateship,” said Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey.

Original cosponsors of the legislation include Representatives Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Mark Takano (CA-41), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), TJ Cox (CA-21), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Ami Bera (CA-7), Mike Bost (IL-12), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Ted Lieu (CA-33), David Scott (GA-13), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Paul Cook (CA-08), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Brad Sherman (CA-30), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Mike Gallagher (WI-08), David Joyce (OH-14), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Alex Mooney (WV-02), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), John Curtis (UT-03), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Ed Case (HI-01), Mike Levin (CA-49), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Greg Walden (OR-02), Adam Smith (WA-09), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Jim Costa (CA-16), Kim Schrier (WA-8), John Garamendi (CA-3), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Susan Davis (CA-53), Karen Bass (CA-37), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), David Trone (MD-06), Ron Kind (WI-03), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Rob Bishop (UT-01), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Randy Weber (TX-14), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04), Lucille Royball-Allard (CA-40), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), Denny Heck (WA-10), Judy Chu (CA-27), Mike Thompson (CA-05), and Jerry McNerney (CA-09).

On Monday, Congressman Panetta spoke on the House floor thanking the American firefighters for their courage and work in Australia. 

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