Thursday, September 15, 2011

GOP wants to give Congress veto power on White House-designated national monuments

Citing state sovereignty and economic hardship, Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they wanted to give Congress the authority to veto presidents' national monument designations, a power used by nearly every executive since Theodore Roosevelt. The Antiquities Act of 1906 has led to the designations of 136 national monuments, a list that includes the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest in Arizona and the Statue of Liberty in New York. But the act has long has been a flash point in Western states, where some residents and officials resent the federal government's level of involvement in land management. "I don't oppose public lands," Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said Tuesday at a House of Representatives Natural Resources subcommittee hearing. "I simply oppose efforts by an out-of-touch administration to forcibly lock up public lands without congressional oversight." Bills by Labrador, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., would "prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments" in those states, "except by express authorization of Congress." Rep. Wally Herger, a Republican whose Northern California district contains a "significant amount" of federal land, made the economic argument for his bill, which would require congressional approval of a national monument in any state. "In the face of severe economic challenges, we need to reform crippling government policies and regulations so that local communities can utilize their natural resources and prosper," he said...more

And what was their position during the Bush administration?

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