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Mrs. KIRKPATRICK of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my legislation, H.R. 4823, the Sedona Red Rocks National Scenic Area Act.
I have often said that the congressional district I am fortunate to represent is the most beautiful in the country. The iconic red rocks that surround the Sedona community and extend into the Verde Valley are indeed a national treasure that is unparalleled. Millions of visitors come from across the Nation and around the globe each year to see the red rocks.
The communities throughout Red Rock Country in Arizona have, for years, discussed the long-term protection of the amazing national resource that surrounds the area. A nonpartisan community coalition came together to advocate for protection of the red rocks through a National Scenic Area, as designated by Congress.
Preserving the natural beauty of the red rocks will ensure that our great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy this unique site just as we do. Just as important, it will attract new visitors and more business to the surrounding communities, getting folks to work during this economic downturn. This bill is necessary to secure these tremendous benefits.
Last year, I circulated draft legislation to local stakeholders, to supporters, and to those with concerns. The Forest Service, the city government, the local Chamber of Commerce, the coalition, Realtors, small business owners, and concerned citizens provided valuable comments and edits to the text of this proposed bill. Through the House Natural Resources Committee, the bill has been further amended by both Republicans and Democrats and was reported from committee without objection.
Good ideas and good policy come from the people, and this bill is the culmination of much debate and feedback in the communities it will affect. Thanks to the involvement of so many people with so many different perspectives, we have put together legislation that will work better for the Sedona area now and in the future. It is the first step forward in moving towards meaningful, long-term protection of the area and towards economic development for the region.
Once again, Mr. Speaker, this is a low-cost jobs project. There is no cost to this. It is a project that I have been looking for that creates jobs that requires Federal action, not Federal spending.
It's appalling, but not surprising, that my esteemed colleagues on the other side of the aisle oppose a low-cost jobs project. They clearly do not understand what's happening to the American people who do not have a job. And when you do not have a job right now, nothing else matters. And it is unbelievable to me that, again, partisan bickering in Washington--not in Sedona--is going to stop a job creation bill.
It's time that Washington started listening to the American people. The people in Sedona are able to put aside partisan bickering and come together for the good of the community and to create jobs, and Washington cannot do the same? Believe me, I will let the folks back home know who rose in opposition, who let partisan bickering drown out their voices and drown out their common sense.
I have always said it is the American people that are going to turn this country around, not Washington, and this is exactly why. This is exactly why: Partisan bickering that gridlocks Washington.
Shame on you.
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