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Hastings, Bishop Introduce Second Resolution of Inquiry
Procedure aimed at forcing disclosure & holding Obama Administration to pledges of openness, transparency

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 27, 2010 - Today, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) and Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Ranking Member Rob Bishop (UT-01) introduced a second Resolution of Inquiry (H. Res. 1406) seeking the missing pages of an internal Department of Interior (DOI) memo detailing plans to potentially designate 13 million acres as National Monuments. Hastings and Bishop introduced a similar resolution in April that was effectively blocked when Committee Democrats voted against passing it out of Committee with a favorable recommendation.

Despite repeated requests for documents, DOI has refused to release a complete copy of the “Internal Memo.” To date, only pages numbered 15 to 21 have been revealed. DOI continues to withhold pages 1-14 and pages 21 and higher.

Hastings and Bishop called on Secretary Salazar to bring the missing pages of the “Internal Memo” when he testified before the Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. When Bishop asked about the documents at the hearing, Deputy Secretary David Hayes confirmed that they did not bring them.

“It’s simply unacceptable that these documents are being hidden from the public and the very communities whose livelihoods could be at risk if 13 million acres of new national monuments are unilaterally created by the President. It’s just as unacceptable that Democrats on the Committee refused to join us in a bipartisan demand for a full release of all related documents. I promised that defeat of the first Resolution would not end our push to hold the Obama Administration to their repeated pledges of openness and transparency. The public deserves to see all the missing pages of this document, as well as the over 2000 pages of accumulated documents that the Interior Department has refused to deliver to Congress. ” - Natural Resources Ranking Member Hastings.

It is clear Secretary Salazar and the Department of Interior has something to hide. If that weren’t true, they would fully comply with our requests for all information pertaining to the planning of new national monument designations. I’m beginning to think this Administration has a different definition for the words ‘open’ and ‘transparent’ than most people. I, along with Ranking Member Hastings and many of my colleagues from the West will continue to pursue this issue until our requests have been fully satisfied.” - Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop.

House rules provide that the Democrat Majority on the Committee has 14 legislative days to report the Resolution of Inquiry or it becomes eligible to be brought to the Floor of the House of Representatives for a vote as a Privileged Resolution.

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Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202) 226-2311

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