Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Utah: House Democrats try to stop floor debate on Bears Ears resolution

Utah House members are expected to debate a resolution Tuesday calling on the Trump administration to rescind the creation of the Bear Ears National Monument. But minority Democrats cried foul Monday, arguing that HCR11 and HCR12, a resolution seeking congressional support to reduce the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, should be sent to a House committee for public comment before going to the floor. The House Rules Committee last week voted to send the legislation straight to the House floor. The committee decides which bills move forward and which do not. Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who heads the committee, said the state's congressional delegation — all Republicans — wants lawmakers to move quickly to get the issue before President Donald Trump. The contention led to a spirited debate about legislative rules that the Democrats ultimately lost. The GOP-controlled House voted 55-17 to let the resolutions go to the floor. House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said the divisive issue deserves a public hearing. He said a majority of Utahns want the Bears Ears National Monument. "We need to hear from them," King said. Noel said the Rules Committee meeting provided that chance. House Republicans also said they expect a Senate committee to hold a hearing...more

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