Friday, December 03, 2010

Hastings Blasts Lame Duck Attempt to Push Through Massive Omnibus Package

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement following reports of a potential omnibus lands, wildlife and waterways package being developed in the U.S. Senate: “Somewhere in the Senate, Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are secretly constructing a Frankenstein omnibus of bills from three separate Committees. Democrat leaders are ignoring the overwhelming message sent by voters in November that they wanted an end to the backroom deals that produce giant bills loaded with new spending and job-killing policies. It isn’t known just how monstrous of a bill is being assembled – that’s the problem with backroom deals and omnibus packages. The House Natural Resources Committee Republican staff has conducted a specific bill-by-bill analysis, based on public reports and reliable private accounts, of the range of legislation that is possibly being packaged into this omnibus – it could total as high as 126 bills, which would equate to a 1,400-page behemoth of over $10 billion in authorized spending....more

Below is Hastings' letter

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer:

I have serious concerns regarding current efforts in the Senate to pass a massive omnibus lands package in the final days of this Congress. According to news reports, such a package could consist of more than 126 different bills, many of which have not been considered by the House, and cost over $10 billion.

These concerns are well-founded given the manner in which a previous omnibus lands package, H.R. 146, was rushed into law last year. This legislation touched on a vast array of issues, spanned hundreds of pages and came at a $9 billion cost to the American taxpayer. H.R. 146 was cobbled together behind closed doors without any regards for transparency. Over half of the individual bills that compiled H.R. 146 never received a hearing in the House and were not properly vetted. In order to avoid any changes to this sprawling bill, and to also avoid having to take potentially politically harmful votes, H.R. 146 was brought to the House floor under a closed Rule that allowed for limited debate and no amendments.

This is not the way the American people expect Congress to legislate and is precisely the type of heavy handed tactics that helped fuel the public’s desire for change in the recent election.

I ask that any attempt to move an omnibus lands package be done through an open, transparent and fair legislative process. Given that a large number of these bills have never been seen before in the House, I request that any legislative package of this type be subject to full committee mark-ups in any of the committees that have jurisdiction over the titles included in the legislation. I also ask that this legislation be subject to an open rule on the House floor in order to allow for amendments, improvement and proper debate.

This omnibus lands bill will have significant impacts on American jobs, our economy and our nation’s energy, environmental and land-use policies. Such a significant bill should not be hastily pushed through Congress without thoughtful and careful consideration.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my request. I look forward to your timely response.


Doc Hastings
Ranking Member,
House Natural Resources Committee

1 comment:

Leslie said...

So, do you think they will not.