Representative John Curtis (R-UT) released the following statement after an amendment he introduced to the government spending bill was denied.
This amendment was blocked from debate or a vote on the House Floor by Democratic leadership, despite meeting all parliamentary requirements for approval.
“Debate of ideas is a core value of Congress, yet House Democratic leadership denied debate, and a vote, on my amendment to protect Utah from unilateral Presidential National Monument designations. Consensus should be a requirement before we make vast changes to how our federal lands are managed,” said Curtis. “A few months ago, I sponsored a bill to create a National Monument that was signed into law, which forced us to find consensus among all stakeholders who care about the land before approval. I am disappointed that Democratic leadership would silence this much-needed debate.”
Utah Representatives Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart also expressed their frustration with partisanship.
“When I was Chairman of the Resources Committee we created monuments the right way, through the deliberative legislative process,” said Bishop. “It’s frustrating and unsurprising that Speaker Pelosi, one of the most authoritarian Speakers in the history of this country, won’t even allow debate on an amendment that would ensure we continue to create monuments in a responsible and democratic way. Sadly, this is the modus operandi for how the Democrats are running the House.”
“Land management decisions should include local input – it is just a general principle of good governance. I am not surprised that Democratic House leadership shut down debate on a public land amendment regarding national monuments in Utah, but I am still disappointed,” said Stewart. “I would have welcomed an opportunity to join with my friends, John Curtis and Rob Bishop, in teaching our colleagues in the House why the government closest to the people should play an essential role in national monument decisions.”
The Congressman offered an amendment to prevent funds from being used to implement any new unilateral national monument designation under the Antiquities Act in the State of Utah. This amendment would have required consensus before making a national monument designation, unlike the Antiquities Act which only requires an action by the President, and in many case without support from local stakeholders.
When Republicans controlled the House, more Democrat amendments were given debate and a vote than Republican amendments. Since Democrats have taken over the House, there have been on average one Republican amendment considered for every five Democratic amendments.