May 5, 2010
The House Natural Resources Committee today voted down (by a margin of 20-22
) a motion offered by Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) to favorably report H. Res. 1245
, a Resolution of Inquiry aimed at requiring the Secretary of the Interior to turn over specific information related to potential National Monument designations
(i.e.“Treasured Landscapes” initiative.) Chairman Nick Rahall offered a motion, which passed by voice vote, to report the Resolution out of the Committee with no recommendation.
Less than 24 hours before the Committee was scheduled to consider the Resolution, the Department of Interior (DOI) turned over 383 pages of emails but withheld 2,016 pages of additional documents directly related to the “Treasured Landscapes” initiative. That means DOI is withholding over five times as much information as they are disclosing to Congress and the American people.
“When the federal government is discussing the lockup of 13 million acres of public lands with the stroke of the President’s pen, the American people have a right to know what their government is doing. I encourage my Democrat colleagues to help the Obama Administration adhere to their claims of openness and transparency by bringing this resolution to a vote on the floor of the full House,” said Hastings. “If this Resolution is not brought to the House floor in a timely manner, I promise this Committee will see plenty of similar Resolutions until the Department of Interior reveals what they are hiding.”
House rules provide that the Democrat Majority on the Committee had 14 legislative days to report the Resolution of Inquiry or it would have been eligible to be brought to the Floor of the House of Representatives for a vote as a Privileged Resolution. A future Floor vote on the Resolution is now entirely subject to the will of the Majority.
At today’s markup Natural Resources Committee Republicans spoke out against the Administration’s stonewalling of information related to the National Monument designations.
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