February 6, 2014
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) delivered the following statement on the House floor today, pledging to continue to work with the Senate to find common ground and implement real solutions for the problems facing the American people:
“Just this week, the House will have considered three measures from the Natural Resources Committee. Two of these were packages of individual bills, which means a total of 18 different bills from the Committee will have effectively been considered, debated, and voted upon by the House this week.
Prior to this week, over the first 13 months of this Congress, the Committee has advance nearly 60 individual bills through the House. Nearly 50 of these bills passed on a broad bipartisan basis under the expedited suspension process. Ten bills under the jurisdiction of the Committee, both Republican and Democrat, have been signed by the President, which represents a noticeable percentage of public laws enacted in this Congress. These totals do not include individual bills included in other measures, such as Defense Authorization Act.
This statement is not made as a pat on the back, but to make clear the intent of this Committee to dutifully work and act on priorities for our Nation, be they narrow bills to resolve a parochial problem or broad measures affecting the country as a whole.
In matters of broad policy, some are of great urgency, such as the importance of restoring responsible, active forest management to both support economically struggling rural communities and to improve the health of federal forests. And just yesterday, the House moved swiftly to provide a solution to the devastating drought in California.
We’ve also acted on multiple bipartisan measures to streamline red tape and boost America’s ability to safely harness our vast energy resources to create jobs, lower prices and strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on energy from hostile foreign countries.
On each of these measures, it is time for the Senate to act and to pass their own proposals so that we can then work to reach an agreement that meets the needs of the American people and can become law. We have differences, but we have a responsibility to represent those we were elected to serve and put forward real solutions for the challenges facing the American people. And there are dozens of bills solving local problems, implementing locally-support solutions, and establishing protections for historic and special places that can be acted upon by both the House and the Senate.
I believe this is possible. That on matters under the jurisdiction of the Natural Resources Committee, that we can find common ground with the Senate. Why? Because we’ve successfully done so repeatedly over the last year. That’s why there are a noticeable number of public laws from our Committees.
To be clear, this will require a willingness to recognize and respect differences in philosophy and procedure in both the House and Senate. And it must be a two-way street where each chamber acts on the other’s priorities. But, again, this has successfully been done and can be done. The Republican Majority in the House has demonstrated our willingness to do so while maintaining our fundamental views on federal land management, the importance of multiple use of public lands, and the ability of local communities to make better decisions for themselves than federal bureaucracies.
So as we conclude this week’s full slate of action on Natural Resources Committee bills, I pledge to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and both sides of the Capitol, to make progress in days, weeks and months ahead.”
Click here to read Chairman Hastings’ full floor statement on H.R. 2954, the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act.
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