3:37 PM EST

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I think this amendment is in the spirit of the underlying legislation, which is to make sure that there is access for hunting and fishing. And here we have, as I said in my opening statement, the potential of bureaucratic malaise, I guess, slowing down access to this particular area that the gentleman from Missouri recommends. I think his amendment adds a great deal to this legislation, and I intend to support it.

3:38 PM EST

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chair, I certainly am not an expert on the gentleman's district and what the exact issue is here; however, I do know that there has been a proposed management plan that has been out for comment since November 8. It will close on Friday. I would hope that the gentleman and concerned parties on either side of the issue have all weighed in to comment because what we are doing here today in this bill will not become law. It is already guaranteed a veto threat. The addition

of this to the bill will not help resolve what is a local issue where the Park Service has to weigh comments from motorized users and nonmotorized users and then come to a conclusion weighing those comments and put forward a new management plan. That is the way this is going to get done.

It shouldn't be done from Washington, D.C. We shouldn't be dictating. If we get into every individual land use or access decision being made by every unit of the Park Service, every unit of the Fish and Wildlife Service and their refuges and every unit of the Forest Service and every unit of the BLM, we are going to be pretty busy and be embroiled in a lot of local controversy.

So this, I believe, is premature in that the comment period closes this week and the process will come to a conclusion. Comments will be weighed and a decision will be put out for final comment. It is also, at this point, being added to a bill that is going nowhere.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

3:38 PM EST

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chair, I certainly am not an expert on the gentleman's district and what the exact issue is here; however, I do know that there has been a proposed management plan that has been out for comment since November 8. It will close on Friday. I would hope that the gentleman and concerned parties on either side of the issue have all weighed in to comment because what we are doing here today in this bill will not become law. It is already guaranteed a veto threat. The addition

of this to the bill will not help resolve what is a local issue where the Park Service has to weigh comments from motorized users and nonmotorized users and then come to a conclusion weighing those comments and put forward a new management plan. That is the way this is going to get done.

It shouldn't be done from Washington, D.C. We shouldn't be dictating. If we get into every individual land use or access decision being made by every unit of the Park Service, every unit of the Fish and Wildlife Service and their refuges and every unit of the Forest Service and every unit of the BLM, we are going to be pretty busy and be embroiled in a lot of local controversy.

So this, I believe, is premature in that the comment period closes this week and the process will come to a conclusion. Comments will be weighed and a decision will be put out for final comment. It is also, at this point, being added to a bill that is going nowhere.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

3:40 PM EST

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I just want to clarify something, Mr. Chairman, that has been said here by my friend, the ranking member, that the administration has issued a veto threat. They have not issued a veto threat. They have said, and I will just read the last line of their Statement of Administration Policy. It says:

The administration looks forward to working with Congress to enact sportsmen and recreation legislation that addresses the concerns raised with certain provisions of H.R. 3590.

Now, in the letter they do say they have problems with four of the eight titles. But to simply suggest that the administration has issued a veto threat on this is simply not correct. And I ask--well, I will let it go.

3:40 PM EST

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I just want to clarify something, Mr. Chairman, that has been said here by my friend, the ranking member, that the administration has issued a veto threat. They have not issued a veto threat. They have said, and I will just read the last line of their Statement of Administration Policy. It says:

The administration looks forward to working with Congress to enact sportsmen and recreation legislation that addresses the concerns raised with certain provisions of H.R. 3590.

Now, in the letter they do say they have problems with four of the eight titles. But to simply suggest that the administration has issued a veto threat on this is simply not correct. And I ask--well, I will let it go.