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Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 1018, Restore Our American Mustangs Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WALDEN. I thank the gentlelady from North Carolina. I represent a district that's 70,000 square miles. Over half of it is already under Federal ownership and control. I wouldn't necessarily say good management because it's also home to lots of issues involving poor forest management, catastrophic fires, lots of degradation of the habitat and lack of management over the years. One of the things that troubles me about this legislation is that we're going to spend potentially $700 million overall--I've heard figures as high as that--to apparently buy 19 million acres of land perhaps. And if it is, indeed, those levels, all that land, when the government buys it, comes off the tax rolls. I have got communities with 20 percent unemployment where the government owns 70 percent of the counties. They've shut down activity on the forests, and the Federal Government is trying to shut down activity out on the range land and destroy things like cattle ranching and some of the great economic ways of the West.

This legislation comes along and apparently is going to have us borrow another $700 million from somebody--probably the Chinese or whatever government decides they want to buy more of our debt, $700 million, almost $1 billion--so that we can go acquire more land as a government and take it off the tax rolls to deal with this issue. I just find it really disturbing. You are going to put a lot of people out of work in the rural West. This is not well-thought-out legislation. But speaking to the rule, we seem in this Congress, under Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat leadership, to have gone into not just tax-and-spend but gag-and-spend. I'll be asking soon to bring up a privileged resolution that I brought to this floor yesterday to allow us the opportunity to offer up amendments.


Mr. WALDEN. To be able to offer up amendments on appropriations bills as historically Members of this House were always able to do until just recently when we have seen a historic and unprecedented gagging of Members of the Republican Party by Members of the Democratic Party when we have tried to offer up alternatives, positive alternatives, suggestions, ways to protect freedom of speech and freedom of religion and to cut back on this outrageous deficit spending.

I guess those must be tough votes for the majority. They don't want to take them because they won't even allow our amendments to be debated on this House floor and considered.

So I'm sorry we have gotten into the gag-and-spend rules-making process around here.


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