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Monday, October 30, 2017
HR3990: Congress Moves to Limit Presidential Monument Authority
By News Release @ 9:06 PM :: 5565 Views :: Environment, Economy, Obama

LINK: Amata Delivers Congressional Western Caucus Weekly Address, Highlights Approach to Marine Monuments

Amata Votes for National Monument Creation and Protection Act

News Release from Del Aumua Amata (R-AS) October 11, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata voted for the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, which was marked up and passed by the Natural Resources Committee, to ensure thorough oversight of future monument designations.

“I’m pleased to cosponsor and vote for this bill because it better protects American Samoa’s interests in future marine monument decisions,” said Aumua Amata. “A major marine monument should require clear action by Congress, and not just be a bureaucratic decision. Since designating large national monuments can have unintended consequences to a local economy, such as losses in fishing, Congress must protect our waters from overreach.”

The National Monument Creation and Protection Act clarifies the process of creating a national monument, and updates the Antiquities Act to restore the Act’s original intent. This action limits the reach of the Antiquities Act to apply to lands owned by the federal government, not marine areas. The bill also strengthens provisions for local, state and territorial input. Also, the bill creates authority for the President to rapidly declare short term emergency national monuments to protect and preserve a threatened area while the process takes place. These provisions help restore the congressional intent of the Act, modernize it and reduce overreach.

“National monuments should be thoroughly considered with understanding of the impact on nearby communities,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “This bill allows the President to move quickly with emergency short term declarations in time of need, but for long term designations requires real input from local or territorial officials who know the area best.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Committee Passes Legislation to Require Transparency, Public Input in Antiquities Act

News Release from House Natural Resources Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2017 - Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3990, the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act” or the “CAP Act.” Introduced by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), the bill protects archeological resources while ensuring public transparency and accountability in the executive’s use of the Antiquities Act.

“Congress never intended to give one individual the power to unilaterally seize enormous swathes of our nation’s public lands… Our problem isn't President Obama or President Trump. It's the underlying law - a statute that provides authority to dictate national monument decisions in secrecy and without public input. The only path to the accountability we all seek – no matter which party controls the White House - is to amend the Act itself,” Bishop stated.

"Under this new, tiered framework, no longer would we have to blindly trust the judgement or fear the whims of any president. The bill ensures a reasonable degree of consultation with local stakeholders and an open public process would be required by law. It strengthens the president’s authority to protect actual antiquities without the threat of disenfranchising people.

"Ultimately, if enacted, it will strengthen the original intent of the law while also providing much needed accountability.”   

Click here to view Chairman Bishop’s full opening statement.

Click here to view full markup action.

Click here for more information on H.R. 3990.

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