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 »
BUT IS HE A YES VOTE?
Cornyn Attempting to Get McCain Back for Health Vote
12 minutes ago
THE LATEST
“TIME HAD RUN OUT” FOR ILL BABY
Charlie Gard’s Parents End Legal Fight
36 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"A lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates told the High Court 'time had run out' for the baby. Mr. Gard said it meant his 'sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy' will not reach his first birthday on 4 August. 'To let our beautiful little Charlie go' is 'the hardest thing we'll ever have to do,' his mother said. Charlie's parents said they made the decision because a US doctor had told them it was now too late to give Charlie nucleoside therapy.

Source:
AGENCY SOUGHT TO DELAY IMPLEMENTATION
11 States Sue EPA Over Chemical Rule
38 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Eleven states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its June decision to delay implementation of a chemical safety rule" until 2019. "The state attorneys general, led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman (D), argue the rule is important for 'protecting our workers, first-responders and communities from chemical accidents' and should be allowed to take affect as planned by the Obama administration’s EPA.

Source:
ULTIMATUM ON ACA
Trump: You’re With Us Or Against Us
56 minutes ago
THE LATEST
$1.6 BILLION SET ASIDE FOR WALL
House Freedom Caucus Chair: Shutdown Over Wall Funding Unlikely
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Monday said that funding for President Trump's controversial border wall is unlikely to cause a government shutdown. 'The odds of a government shutdown are very minimal when it comes to that,' the conservative lawmaker said at an event in Washington, D.C. 'I do think the funding of the border wall will happen,' he added. Appropriators have set aside $1.6 billion to fund new wall and fencing sections on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border covering a few dozen miles."

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