December 2, 2010
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.
The Boxer omnibus may never reach this full size, but the American people should know the scope of bills being considered. This includes dozens of bills that have never passed a single committee, either chamber of Congress, or even been the subject of a hearing.
In addition to the cost of new spending and newly created programs, the omnibus could:
- restrict the creation of energy jobs and more American-made energy,
- exacerbate the billions of dollars of backlogged maintenance on existing federal lands,
- vastly expand EPA’s control over waterways and economic activity,
- lock-up more public lands from public access and recreation,
- and complicate Border Patrol’s ability to secure our borders from criminals, drug traffickers and potential terrorists.
The American people loudly declared that this isn’t how they want business conducted by Congress, and Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee will respect the voters’ message by opposing any and all attempts to pass such an omnibus package during this lame duck.
If Democrats want to do the right thing, they will jettison their omnibus plans and instead genuinely work with Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the Capitol to reach agreement to move individual bills that can be passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. It’s time to focus on what can pass in an agreeable manner.”
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