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Public Statements

Omnibus Public Land Management Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise today in strong support of H.R. 146, a bipartisan piece of legislation that will do wonders for conservation and historic preservation across the United States. If one, Mr. Speaker, were to add up all the hours that were devoted to each part of this legislation in the House and the Senate, it would minimize basically what I just heard from the other side, over 100 hours of debate on these bills separately. And now we are bringing them together in one omnibus public land management bill.

This bill includes the Paterson Great Falls National Park Act. It was originally introduced in the 109th Congress and passed the House in October of 2007, like many of these other bills that are part of this omnibus bill, which is a bipartisan piece of legislation.

As a lifelong Paterson resident and the city's former mayor, I have fought for many years to bring recognition to the site that has played such a seminal role in American history. Alexander Hamilton knew what he was doing, because it became the gateway to industry in this country so that immigrants could come here, go to work and build the greatest country in the world.

With a National Park designation, the Great Falls will be transformed into an attraction for visitors and Patersonians alike that could lead to the economic revitalization of Paterson, joining together of public and private investment. Isn't that what we are here for?

As soon as President Obama signs this bill into law, Federal resources will be leveraged to revitalize the Great Falls area, refurbish the beautiful historic mill buildings, maintain and protect the waterfalls, and create a living reminder of our Nation's rich industrial history. I'm proud and thankful that Congress and the President fully recognize the vision of Hamilton, the design of L'Enfant, and the cultural and historic landmarks that have shaped America's history.

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