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Mr. FARR. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the Foxx Amendment that seeks to gut the Antiquities Act and add unnecessary bureaucracy.
The Antiquities Act is the best tool in the tool box for saving America's heritage--cultural and natural--to respect what our ancestors set aside for us and to inspire, educate, and enlighten future generations.
The Antiquities Act has a long bipartisan tradition. After being signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt, sixteen presidents of both parties--8 Republicans and 8 Democrats--have used this Act to protect federally-owned lands and waters to better protect America's treasures for future generations.
The Antiquities Act protects our national heritage. Sites like the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, and the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and in my Congressional District the Pinnacles National Monument have been protected through the Antiquities Act.
The Foxx Amendment seeks to gut the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act was specifically designed to allow presidents to respond quickly to protect places in the national interest.
Had the Antiquities Act been written with Rep. Foxx's language, the Grand Canyon would be overrun by sprawl, ancient cliff dwellings and the Petrified Forest National Park would have been looted, and Arches National Park wouldn't even exist.
The Foxx Amendment is poorly conceived. Several state legislatures only meet every other year and are ill-equipped to respond to urgent threats to public lands.
The Foxx Amendment would prevent archaeological, cultural and historical sites from receiving the urgent protections they need from looting, vandalism or other threats.
The Foxx Amendment also doesn't recognize that the United States has vast areas of unincorporated territory that is not under the jurisdiction of a state legislature.
President George W. Bush used the Antiquities Act to protect lands and waters in unincorporated federal areas including the Marianas Trench Marine and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments.
Stand up for our National Parks and our national heritage. Vote against the Foxx Amendment to H.R. 4089.
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