House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) today released the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement to use presidential powers granted under the 1906 Antiquities Act to acquire new property to establish the César E. Chávez National Monument:
"Additions to the National Park System should result from careful public review and a vote by Congress, not secret election-year deals cut behind closed doors at the White House. This national monument designation is an unnecessary use of Presidential powers and appears to be based more on politics than sound policy. In addition, the costs and any liabilities associated with running and maintaining this site are unknown at a time when President Obama has led us to trillion dollar annual budget deficits and there are millions of dollars in backlogged maintenance for our existing Parks. Major land-use decisions that impact local communities and economies should be made by those affected and their elected leaders, not unilaterally by the President."