Hearing on Parks Bills Less Than Idyllic

The Abyss geothermal pool is seen October 8, 2012 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Yellowstone protects 10,000 or so geysers, mudpots, steamvents, and hot springs.Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. It was established in 1872. Yellowstone extends through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The park's name is derived from the Yellowstone River, which runs through the park. A
National Journal
Clare Foran
Add to Briefcase
Clare Foran
Nov. 21, 2013, 10:38 a.m.

Re­pub­lic­an mem­bers of the House Nat­ur­al Re­sources Sub­com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Lands and En­vir­on­ment­al Reg­u­la­tion set their sights squarely on a take­down of the ad­min­is­tra­tion dur­ing a hear­ing Thursday to con­sider a series of bills re­spond­ing to the clos­ure of pub­lic lands dur­ing the gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Meas­ures to give states more au­thor­ity over pub­lic lands were the main fo­cus of the hear­ing, but the dis­cus­sion de­volved at times in­to at­tacks on Pres­id­ent Obama.

“I see this gov­ern­ment today as King George and his lords around him,” said Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, the au­thor of a bill to give states a great­er role in man­aging fed­er­al lands. “The Amer­ic­an people have be­come the serfs, be­cause we have to re­spond to the agen­cies. The pres­id­ent of the United States be­lieves he’s a mon­arch. Shame on Amer­ica.”

Sub­com­mit­tee Chair­man Rob Bish­op, R-Utah, star­ted the bar­rage with a cri­tique of big gov­ern­ment. “Large, cent­ral­ized, bur­eau­crat­ic en­tit­ies don’t work; they don’t move us for­ward,” Bish­op said in his open­ing state­ment.

There were some mo­ments of to­geth­er­ness. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., spon­sor of a meas­ure dir­ect­ing the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to re­im­burse states for costs in­curred in re­open­ing na­tion­al parks dur­ing the shut­down, ap­plauded Demo­crats for sup­port­ing his le­gis­la­tion and in­dic­ated a will­ing­ness to reach across the aisle to strengthen bi­par­tis­an con­sensus on the is­sue.

“I want to thank the 26 bi­par­tis­an co­spon­sors on this le­gis­la­tion, many whom are rep­res­ent­ing states that stepped up to the chal­lenge, as Utah did, to open up our parks while the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­fused ac­cess dur­ing the par­tial lapse in ap­pro­pri­ations,” he said. “It’s rare we see much bi­par­tis­an agree­ment in this town, [and] it is nice to see sev­en Demo­crats join­ing already as co­spon­sors on this bill on the House side.”

Sub­com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Rep. Raul Gri­jalva, D-Ar­iz., dis­missed the GOP at­tempts at out­reach. “I’m glad to see the ma­jor­ity ac­know­ledge that our na­tion­al parks and wild­life refuges are eco­nom­ic en­gines in many of our rur­al eco­nom­ies,” he said. “But like so many of the ma­jor­ity’s bills con­sidered by this com­mit­tee, the le­gis­la­tion we will dis­cuss today takes shared val­ues and twists them in­to di­vis­ive, par­tis­an ex­tremes.”

Gri­jalva went on to say, “We should view this hear­ing like people view Dooms­day-prep­pers — for its en­ter­tain­ment value only.”

The hear­ing comes on the heels of a ma­jor push this week by House Re­pub­lic­ans for more states’ rights in en­ergy de­vel­op­ment. The House on Thursday passed le­gis­la­tion that would speed fed­er­al re­view of cross-bor­der oil and gas pipelines, while on Wed­nes­day the cham­ber passed a bill to ex­pand oil and nat­ur­al gas drilling on pub­lic lands and to lim­it fed­er­al reg­u­la­tion of hy­draul­ic frac­tur­ing.

The Sen­ate is not ex­pec­ted to pass the three bills, and the White House has threatened to veto all of them.

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
14 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
17 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
17 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
1 days ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login