DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - June 17, 2004)
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Mr. OTTER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
Mr. Chairman, it is reassuring to hear the gentleman who just spoke from California now willing to use the Bush
administration figures on the economy when for weeks, maybe months, I have sat on this very floor on all issues
relative to the economy and unemployment and how bad things were, how wrong the Bush administration has been.
But now, all of a sudden, we have a report that the gentleman from California is willing to adhere to, and it will only
affect the economy of Yellowstone by 1 percent.
I would ask the gentleman from California that if we should come up with a national policy which would only affect
the economy of California by 1 percent, would the gentleman from California then be most willing to accept that
without any argument?
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. OTTER. I yield to the gentleman from California.
Mr. OTTER. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, it is not unusual, as the gentleman just represented and as the
potential leader of the gentleman's party, it is not unusual for him to flip-flop back and forth, depending upon how the
argument will fit the present issue.
But getting to the issue that we are debating here on the Yellowstone National Park, not too long ago, perhaps far too
long ago for certain people to recall, someone once said, "and they sent hither swarms of agents to harass our people
and eat out their substance." And that is precisely what these swarms of people from New Jersey and from other places
east of the Mississippi River, and a few other misguided souls that have found their way west, perhaps are doing with
I want to remind the gentleman from New Jersey that when that report was written there was no such thing as a 4-
stroke engine in a snow machine. So how convenient to use that argument when there was no 4-stroke engine. The EPA
report dealt only with 2-stroke engines, not 4-stroke engines.
So I would just like to remind all of those who have argued today that let us set the standard right here and now, and
that is what we are doing, because I know of at least three potential national monuments, three wilderness areas that are
coming up in my State for consideration, and if this is the way my colleagues are going to treat a well-compromised
agreement over the course of 10 years and finalized within the last three, that with every new whim and every new
Congress and every idea that somebody east of the Mississippi River comes up with wants to come and then change the
order in which we agreed to that compromise, then I am going to start voting not only against this amendment, but I
will vote against each and every compromise that comes down on anything, many of those which I was willing to at
least accept because they were a compromise made in good faith. But if every time we want to change something, we
decide well, this is our generation's turn and even though it was compromised out in 1980s on the Frank Church-River
of No Return Wilderness Area, now all of a sudden we are wanting to change that compromise. Which other
compromise will we change today?
So what we do today, Mr. Chairman, what we do today, I should say will set the order for every compromise that we
should ever consider on this floor. Because once these compromises are reached, we thought they were agreements that
were made in good faith and not to be changed at the whim of every new environmental organization that may need to
raise some funds and, therefore, create a clause appropriate to raising those kinds of funds.
So with that, I would say to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt), if he wants to stop, if he wants to erase all
traces of mankind in a national park, he is just a couple of thousand years too late.
Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. OTTER. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.
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Mr. OTTER. Reclaiming my time, I would remind the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) that it was the agreement in the compromise that they were looking to at the time that caused the snowmobile industry to engage in research on
the four-stroke engine.
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