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Manchin spearheads ‘Great American Outdoors Act’

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVVA) -- Senator Joe Manchin is spearheading the 'Great American Outdoors Act' - a piece of legislation that would provide mandatory and permanent funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

In its 55 years, the LWCF has been fully funded only twice.

"This is a fund that very few people know about, but has touched down in nearly every county in the United States, and every county in West Virginia," said Beth Wheatley of The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia. "It's created local parks and opened up access to lands that West Virginians use for family picnics and camping."

The full funding, included in the legislation, is $900 Million - meaning the payout to each beneficiary would nearly double.

Also in the proposal - another $9 Billion that would pay for park restorations.

The additional funding would create 120-140 thousand jobs - an undertaking that Manchin says is necessary for economic recovery after the impact of COVID-19.

"We've never had economic recovery without some form of infrastructure spending," Manchin said during a Thursday press conference. "There's no better infrastructure than the great outdoors and the beautiful parks that we have."

The bill will be considered by the U.S. Senate in the coming days. Manchin says he expects it to pass by the end of the week.

Click here for more information on the proposal.

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