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Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 986 and commend Representative Courtney for his outstanding work.

JOE COURTNEY, in so many ways, is a story about so many people who come to the House of Representatives, not unlike ``Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'' and finds out that, when he presents a bill that's straightforward and works diligently at it and presents it on the floor, only to find that opposition rises where there should be unanimity.

Now, my good friend and colleague from Utah talks about the concern of imminent domain, and yet the bill clearly forbids this. More important than the bill, however, that local authorities in the communities of Salem, East Haddam and Lyme and the entire Connecticut legislature, as well as the Republican Governor from the State of Connecticut, as well as the entire Connecticut delegation, including Republican Chris Shays.

It seems as though Mr. Courtney has, perhaps, committed the grievous sin of coming to Washington and being able to accomplish more in 6 months than his predecessor accomplished in 6 years. For this, he is to be punished.

This bill should be by unanimous consent, an acclamation, because of the way it was worked on, because of the kind of support that it has, because of how important it is to the citizens of the State of Connecticut, who, indeed, on a local level and at the State level through the legislature, and for a party that claims to be for States' rights, why they would oppose the will of the local entity, and the State legislative body, and the Governor of the State of Connecticut, is somewhat astounding.

Now, I am sure if that happened in Utah, if the legislature in Utah passed it, if the Governor in Utah agreed with it and local municipalities approved of it in the impacted region, you would oppose it as well. I think not. But such is the case here.

And I am pleased that the gentleman from Arizona outlined and articulated this very important piece of legislation for the citizens of the State of Connecticut. As I said, and I will repeat again, it has the support of the entire Connecticut delegation, including our two United States Senators. Why? Because this is a project that has been worked on for 10 years, because it has gone through a very thoughtful process. And the difference being that they finally elected an individual who is effective, who has the capability of bringing people together on all sides of the issue and making sure that he gets the job done.

Congratulations, Joe. Job well done.

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