12:28 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the road leading us here today has been a long one and it has contained a few twists and turns along the way. As my colleagues are well aware, a series of procedural hurdles in both the House and the Senate has delayed enactment of this legislation. It would truly be a shame, however, to allow those difficulties to overshadow just how important this bill is. [Page: H3973]

The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 is landmark legislation. It combines measures that will strengthen the National Park System, restore our national forests, preserve our Wild and Scenic Rivers, protect our sacred battlefields, and restore balance to the management of our public lands.

After nearly a decade during which our parks were taken for granted and our rangelands were scarred by a spider web of roads and well pads--after nearly a decade during which responsible stewardship was abandoned--this omnibus package represents a new dawn. A new dawn for America's heritage and America's values.

[Time: 12:30]

It will preserve pristine wilderness, such as in my home State of West Virginia, protect our national monuments and conservation areas, conserve our free-flowing rivers, establish new park units, guarantee abundant clean water for thousands of families, and more.

At a time when so much of the news is bad, when so much about our future seems uncertain, enactment of this public lands bill will serve as a reminder that our Nation is truly blessed; and that, no matter what happens, if we pass those blessings on to our children, our Nation will survive and endure.

One advantage of having considered this package before is that we have heard all the arguments. We have heard all the arguments against it, and we know that they have been proven wrong.

For example, we were told that this package costs a great deal of money. The Congressional Budget Office has made it clear; it does not. We were told that this is a big Federal land grab; but Members now understand that this package contains no condemnation nor taking of land of any kind. We were told this package contained a provision that would put children in jail for collecting fossils. We know now that only large commercial companies who take public resources and sell them for private profit

will be penalized.

The truth is, this package of bills will make small but meaningful improvements in the quality of life for millions of Americans across our great country. The arguments made by opponents are petty by comparison. That is why an overwhelming and bipartisan majority of 77 members of the other body and 282 Members of this House have already voted for this bill.

We have all heard the saying: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Attempts to kill this important package have failed, making our commitment to getting it enacted that much stronger.

The road leading us here has indeed had some twists and turns, but today we arrive at the end. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 146 and, finally, send this bill to the President for his signature.

I reserve the balance of my time.

12:32 PM EDT

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, this bill has gone through quite a process. And although this bill contains several meritorious separate pieces of legislation, and three parts of this omnibus bill are mine, I might add, the negatives in this bill and the failure to consider it under regular order of any kind of open, inclusive process outweigh any reason, in my mind, to go forward.

By now, it is well known that Republicans have tried to amend this bill to restore needed House provisions, to remove egregious provisions, and add protections for Americans' second amendment rights.

If we had been allowed to offer these amendments, we might have produced legislation almost all Members of the House could support; however, we have been blocked at every opportunity from participating in this process.

This package is largely a product of closed-door deal-making. It is designed to ensure that just enough congressional districts receive something to induce support for very controversial measures that underwent no public hearing.

The Democrat leadership likes to argue that the full House has acted on more than 70 provisions in this bill. What they don't say is that at least 100 provisions have not been considered by the full House.

Mr. Speaker, this may look familiar to some people. It is a large, large bill. Of that, only this amount has been considered by the House. It seems like we haven't learned from what past experience has taught us about trying to put massive bills through the House without having somewhat of an open process.

Every motion, procedure, and action of this body has been used to deny the House Republicans any meaningful participation in this bill. The House's failure to study these 100 provisions will have serious consequences, in my view, for an ailing economy.

Before the House rejected this package under suspension of the rules, our friends on the other side of the aisle argued that this bill is just what America needs in difficult times. Well, it seems to me the discussion in this new Congress has been around the economy and the need for American jobs. And I think that we can all agree that Americans need jobs. Although H.R. 146 might create a few jobs, these jobs will be mostly limited to bureaucrats putting up ``Do Not Enter and No Access'' signs

all over America's public lands. And these few jobs will be far outnumbered by the jobs that would be killed by this bill.

Are our memories so short that we have forgotten the energy crisis of just last summer and the role that it played in the economic downturn that we experienced in the second half of last year? Evidently, the Democrat leadership's answer to this is to close off energy-rich public lands forever.

This package contains 19 provisions to block American-made energy production, locking away hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. More than 3 million acres of public land are permanently locked away from energy development. Now, these are public lands, in a time when our economy is slowing, in a time when we need to try to get the economy going, and no sector could be better I think than the energy sector, especially the American energy sector; yet,

this bill goes the opposite way of what I just cited.

It is ironic, while Democrat leaders accuse industry of stockpiling Federal oil and gas leases, the truth is that the Federal Government, through the actions of the Democrat majority in this Congress, is stockpiling lands to block energy production.

H.R. 146 has many other problems. It could--and I say ``could''--result in a ban on the use of vehicles and other technology to patrol the U.S. border. It bans recreational access to millions of acres of public lands. Even worse, it denies those dependent on wheelchairs, including disabled veterans, from fully enjoying public lands like everyone else. It fails to address a Federal judge's decision of only last week, when we could have acted on this, that overturned the Bush administration's regulations

to protect second amendment rights in parks and wildlife refuges. In other words, to make consistent our laws on public lands. H.R. 146 even hurts civil liberties. It could mean jail time and asset forfeiture for several innocent actions by Americans.

Yesterday, we received a letter from a coalition of civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others, who have grave concerns. And I will quote, ``The bill creates many new Federal crimes using language that is so broad that the provisions could cover innocent human error.''

These organizations also say, and, again, I am quoting, ``Above all, we are concerned that a bill containing new Federal crimes, fines and imprisonment and forfeiture provisions may come to the House floor without first being marked up by the House Judiciary Committee.''

Mr. Speaker, this bill was not even marked up by the House Natural Resources Committee. This bill was not marked up by any committee in the House. This is a bill that came over, again, over 1,100 pages, from the Senate. So this wasn't even marked up, and it has these provisions in it.

I just have to ask you, Mr. Speaker, does this sound familiar? None of the several committees with jurisdiction over this bill had any hearing on the troubling provisions within this bill.

So, Mr. Speaker, that is not how the people's House ought to work. This House is the House wherein no Member has ever served that was not elected. It [Page: H3974]

is the closest to the people. And when we have concerns, then let's debate those concerns, and let's have a vote. And I understand how that works. We have three buttons, but I generally only press two, yes and no; and, whoever has the most votes prevails. But we have been denied even that basic opportunity

in the people's House on this bill.

The amendments I offered, for example, last night in the Rules Committee that were rejected, all on a party-line vote, I might add, were bills that only address the most egregious parts. We had a discussion with some of the members of the Rules Committee where they were talking about some of the provisions they worked on were carefully crafted. In fact, the distinguished chairman mentioned that. And I totally agree; I know there are provisions that have been crafted. But for those provisions

in the bill that have some dissension, some difference of opinion, then let's discuss that, and then we can have a vote and whichever side prevails, prevails. That is the way the people's House ought to work. But, once again, that process is being denied with this huge bill that is slightly larger, I think, than the stimulus bill, if you want to make some sort of a comparison. But here we are again, today, going through that same procedure.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, while there are three provisions in this bill that I have worked several Congresses on, I have to say that this bill on the whole is not worthy of my support, and I urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''

I reserve the balance of my time.

12:40 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Altmire) who has helped us craft some language in the bill that is supported by the National Rifle Association.

12:41 PM EDT

Jason Altmire, D-PA 4th

Mr. ALTMIRE. I thank the gentleman, and I rise today in support of the public lands bill which includes my amendment to protect the rights of our Nation's sportsmen. The language that I worked to include in today's bill is a hard-fought victory for sportsmen and the preservation of their access to public lands.

Within the three main sections of this bill, those related to the National landscape conservation system, rivers, and trails, and heritage areas, protections are included to ensure sportsmen are able to hunt, fish, and trap on millions of acres of public lands. These protections and my amendment are strongly supported by the National Rifle Association.

And as an unwavering supporter of the second amendment, I share the concerns of Mr. Hastings, Mr. Bishop, and others, about the recent district court decision limiting the ability of citizens to carry concealed weapons in national parks. However, that decision does not in any way relate to my amendment, and it certainly doesn't create a loophole. I agree that the right-to-carry issue is vitally important, but it is a separate issue based on a court ruling that took place after

this bill was finalized. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Hastings and Mr. Bishop to address this important issue through a more appropriate legislative vehicle.

Today's action by the House protects the rights of our Nation's sportsmen and their ability to hunt, fish, and trap on millions of acres of public land. The language that I worked to include makes it clear that the fundamental rights are protected, and I ask my colleagues to support this bill.

12:42 PM EDT

Jason Altmire, D-PA 4th

Mr. ALTMIRE. I thank the gentleman, and I rise today in support of the public lands bill which includes my amendment to protect the rights of our Nation's sportsmen. The language that I worked to include in today's bill is a hard-fought victory for sportsmen and the preservation of their access to public lands.

Within the three main sections of this bill, those related to the National landscape conservation system, rivers, and trails, and heritage areas, protections are included to ensure sportsmen are able to hunt, fish, and trap on millions of acres of public lands. These protections and my amendment are strongly supported by the National Rifle Association.

And as an unwavering supporter of the second amendment, I share the concerns of Mr. Hastings, Mr. Bishop, and others, about the recent district court decision limiting the ability of citizens to carry concealed weapons in national parks. However, that decision does not in any way relate to my amendment, and it certainly doesn't create a loophole. I agree that the right-to-carry issue is vitally important, but it is a separate issue based on a court ruling that took place after

this bill was finalized. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Hastings and Mr. Bishop to address this important issue through a more appropriate legislative vehicle.

Today's action by the House protects the rights of our Nation's sportsmen and their ability to hunt, fish, and trap on millions of acres of public land. The language that I worked to include makes it clear that the fundamental rights are protected, and I ask my colleagues to support this bill.

12:43 PM EDT

Tom McClintock, R-CA 4th

Mr. McCLINTOCK. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, Abraham Lincoln once told of a farmer who said, ``I ain't greedy for land. All I want is what is next to mine.'' I think our Federal Government is starting to resemble that farmer.

H.R. 146 is a massive land grab that would literally put more land in the United States into wilderness designation than we currently have actually developed from coast to coast. That pretty much means no human activities other than walking through it--as long as you don't touch anything. So I have to ask a question, when is enough enough?

The Federal Government already owns nearly 650 million acres of land. That is 30 percent of the entire land area of the United States. It owns 45 percent of my home State of California. Now, compare that to the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., the Federal Capital, the home to every agency in our vast Federal bureaucracy. The Federal Government owns only 25 percent of the District of Columbia.

The bill is estimated to cost about $10 billion, not only to pay for this land grab but for all of the other bells and whistles that are attached to it. That includes congressional earmarks like $3.5 million to celebrate the birthday of St. Augustine, Florida, and $250,000 to decide--to decide--what we are going to do with Alexander Hamilton's boyhood home in the Virgin Islands.

Now, $1 billion of the $10 billion of this bill is for salmon population restoration on the San Joaquin River in California, with the stated objective of establishing a population of at least 500 salmon.

[Time: 12:45]

Five hundred salmon. One billion dollars.

Mr. Speaker, that comes to $2 million per fish. And that is without accounting for all of the costs that will be incurred by central valley farmers as water that is already in critically short supply is diverted to this project.

Overall, this bill spends $10 billion of people's earnings. In real world numbers, that means about $130 from an average family of four through their taxes. I'm afraid that the mega-spending by this administration has begun to desensitize us to figures that are under $1 trillion. But let's try to put this $10 billion in perspective. The National Park Service reports a maintenance backlog of $9 billion on the land we already own. So, we can't take care of the land we already have, but we are going

to spend $10 billion on acquiring additional land that we can't take care of.

This bill withdraws 3 million acres of land from energy leasing. Just from reserves that we know about, that is [Page: H3975]

going to cost the American economy 330 million barrels of oil and 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Wyoming alone.

I was particularly struck by a provision that allows the Federal Government to condemn private property where fossils are found. So if you find a fossil in your backyard, Mother and Father America, be very careful. You will be well advised to keep it a secret. Under this bill, such a discovery could cost you your property.

This bill also means new restrictions on BLM lands. Now these public lands currently contribute to our Nation's economy by providing multiple uses such as farming, ranching, timber harvesting and offroad vehicle recreation, all for the broader public good. I have an awful lot of land in my district that is under Federal jurisdiction and under BLM management, and the constant complaints that I get from the public are not that there is too much access to public lands, but that there is too little

access and too many restrictions to those lands. This bill codifies the National Landscape Conservation System, which means less public access and more restrictions on the public's use of the public's land.

So I ask again, when is enough enough? The preservation of public land is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end, that end being the public good. And the public good is not served by the mindless and endless acquisition of property at the expense of the sustainable use of our natural resources, the responsible stewardship of our public lands and the freedom and property rights of our citizens.

National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action,

Fairfax, VA, March 10, 2009.

Hon. NANCY PELOSI,

Speaker, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

Hon. JOHN BOEHNER,

Republican Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

DEAR SPEAKER PELOSI AND LEADER BOEHNER: On behalf of the National Rifle Association, I am writing to express our support for the Altmire amendment to S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. The Altmire amendment would ensure that the provisions of S. 22 will not be used to close lands that are currently open to hunting, fishing, trapping, target shooting and other forms of traditional recreation. In addition, the amendment clarifies that the states retain the authority to

manage resident fish and wildlife.

Encroaching development and the increasing population demand for open space has resulted the closure of federal lands that were once open to traditional forms of recreation, such as hunting and target shooting. Whether it is the closure of a trail that served as the access point for a generations-old hunting camp or the closure of large areas to target shooting, the sportsman's way of life has been under attack. There are those who would exacerbate this situation by attempting to use land designations

to further close federal lands to sportsmen. This is why the Altmire amendment is necessary.

The Altmire amendment has already been applied to the National Landscape Conservation System Act within S. 22. It is critical to extend this protection for sportsmen to other areas of the bill, specifically Titles V and VIII pertaining to Rivers and Trails and National Heritage Areas, respectively. This is precisely what the Altmire amendment would do.

While the NRA takes no position on S. 22 as a whole, the meaningful protections provided by the Altmire amendment are critical to preserve access for sportsmen and the authority of the states to manage resident wildlife populations. For these reasons, we support its inclusion in S. 22.

Should you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (202) 651-2560.

Sincerely,

Chris W. Cox,

Executive Director, NRA-ILA.

12:47 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am forced to yield myself 30 seconds to respond to the total inaccuracies just stated by the gentleman.

First of all, the fossil collection measure in this bill applies only to public lands, no private lands whatsoever. And if the gentleman had heard my opening statement or even seen what the Senate passed, he would recognize--that the other body passed--he would recognize that the casual collector of fossils is exempt from this legislation. It only applies to those who are in the professional collection of fossils on public lands once again.

In regard to the locking away of land from oil and gas developments, what you are going to keep hearing throughout today from the other side is that old mantra ``drill, baby, drill'' that we are hearing over and over and again, and they just don't get it anymore.

I am glad to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell).

12:48 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 8th

Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise today in strong support of H.R. 146, a bipartisan piece of legislation that will do wonders for conservation and historic preservation across the United States. If one, Mr. Speaker, were to add up all the hours that were devoted to each part of this legislation in the House and the Senate, it would minimize basically what I just heard from the other side, over 100 hours of debate on these bills separately. And now we are bringing them together in one

omnibus public land management bill.

This bill includes the Paterson Great Falls National Park Act. It was originally introduced in the 109th Congress and passed the House in October of 2007, like many of these other bills that are part of this omnibus bill, which is a bipartisan piece of legislation.

As a lifelong Paterson resident and the city's former mayor, I have fought for many years to bring recognition to the site that has played such a seminal role in American history. Alexander Hamilton knew what he was doing, because it became the gateway to industry in this country so that immigrants could come here, go to work and build the greatest country in the world.

With a National Park designation, the Great Falls will be transformed into an attraction for visitors and Patersonians alike that could lead to the economic revitalization of Paterson, joining together of public and private investment. Isn't that what we are here for?

As soon as President Obama signs this bill into law, Federal resources will be leveraged to revitalize the Great Falls area, refurbish the beautiful historic mill buildings, maintain and protect the waterfalls, and create a living reminder of our Nation's rich industrial history. I'm proud and thankful that Congress and the President fully recognize the vision of Hamilton, the design of L'Enfant, and the cultural and historic landmarks that have shaped America's history.

12:50 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 8th

Mr. PASCRELL. After this bill is signed into law, I would be honored to have my colleagues visit the Great Falls where they can all see firsthand the value that urban parks bring to the National Park System and to the local communities.

I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Rahall and Chairman GRIJALVA for bringing this bill to the floor. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''

I think, Mr. Chairman, when we are involved more in substance rather than process, we get a lot done in the House of Representatives.

12:50 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 8th

Mr. PASCRELL. After this bill is signed into law, I would be honored to have my colleagues visit the Great Falls where they can all see firsthand the value that urban parks bring to the National Park System and to the local communities.

I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Rahall and Chairman GRIJALVA for bringing this bill to the floor. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''

I think, Mr. Chairman, when we are involved more in substance rather than process, we get a lot done in the House of Representatives.

12:51 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Chairman, I'm very happy to yield 2 minutes to the gentlelady from California (Mrs. Capps), a very valued member of our Committee on Natural Resources that was so instrumental in bringing this legislation, as well as many other pieces of legislation out of our committee, to the floor.

12:51 PM EDT

Paul C. Broun, R-GA 10th

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. As Members of Congress, we have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Today's vote on the omnibus lands bill is a vote on the right to own private property and on the second amendment right of law-abiding citizens to have and use firearms. The fifth amendment concludes with these words ``nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.''

Our Nation is facing an economic crisis today. Yet Democrats are forcing this Chamber to rush through a bill that will increase government spending by as much as $10 billion. The Federal Government already owns over 650 million acres of land that they can't take care of. The National Park Service alone faces a backlog of $9 billion worth of projects that need to be funded.

If S. 22 passes, there will be more wilderness areas in the United States than [Page: H3976]

the total developed land, 109-plus million acres versus 108.1 million acres. We should not be permanently locking up tens of millions of acres of the people's land.

The second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to have firearms and use firearms are also in danger today. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that ``a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'' Last week, Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate added the Altmire amendment to the omnibus lands bill to prevent the Federal Government from banning hunting and fishing

on certain types of Federal land.

At the time this amendment was added, the right of Americans to carry concealed firearms on park lands and wildlife refuges, in accordance with State law, was already recognized in Federal regulations. However, last Thursday, a U.S. District Court judge single-handedly decided to block this right. And it was an unconstitutional decision by this judge. Now there is a giant hole in the current Altmire language, and Congress should fix it. Congress must not allow one Federal judge to single-handedly

deny Americans their second amendment rights on Federal lands.

My colleagues Mr. Hastings and Mr. Bishop introduced an amendment to this bill that would write into law the very protections struck down by this one Federal judge. Unfortunately, Democratic leadership would not allow a vote on this amendment that would repair the massive void in the current Altmire language. The omnibus lands bill was the best place to fix what this one Federal judge in Washington, D.C., has done, but we won't even be allowed a vote today.

It is not the role of the Federal Government to hoard massive amounts of land. And it is not the role to take away law-abiding citizens' second amendment rights.

Protect the fifth amendment. Protect the second amendment. Vote ``no'' on S. 22.

12:55 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, many Members on the minority side have been helping us with this legislation. I now am pleased to recognize one such Member, the gentleman from California (Mr. McKeon), for 2 minutes.

12:55 PM EDT

Buck McKeon, R-CA 25th

Mr. McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for the time and for his leadership in bringing this important bill to the floor.

I rise in strong support of the omnibus lands bill, which includes my legislation, the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Mountains Wild Heritage Act, about which I'm going to speak. I have the great privilege of representing one of the most rugged and beautiful areas of the country, including the vast Eastern Sierras of California represented in a few of the pictures that I have here.

My district is also one of the largest in the country, with over 95 percent of the land in Mono and Inyo Counties owned and managed by the Federal Government. We need land for recreation, hunting and fishing. We need land for mining. We need some land protected as wilderness. But, most importantly, we need commonsense, locally driven solutions to land use.

This legislation is a product of countless hours of community involvement between Senator Boxer and I working together with virtually every local stakeholder, county official, local sportsman and recreational advocate, BLM and Forest Service. We also presented the legislation directly to the public through county hearings.

Specifically, this legislation would designate over 470,000 acres of wilderness in the Eastern Sierras of Mono and Inyo Counties and the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles. While many of these areas are already successfully protected from many destructive human activities by the management plans of the Forest Service and BLM, I feel strongly that these areas should have a higher level of protection.

In addition, my legislation strikes that important land use balance and releases over 50,000 acres of Wilderness Study Areas from further consideration as wilderness. Finally, my legislation creates the first ever dedicated winter recreation area, 11,000 acres for snowmobile use which will bring much-needed tourism to the community of Bridgeport in northern Mono County.

This is a locally driven, practical solution to the many land uses in my district. This isn't Congress telling my district how to manage our land. This is my community, my constituents asking Congress to approve a land use compromise developed and vetted back home in California.

I strongly urge a ``yes'' vote.

12:58 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am glad to yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Salazar), who has been very instrumental in crafting this legislation.

12:58 PM EDT

John Salazar, D-CO 3rd

Mr. SALAZAR. I would like to thank Chairman Rahall and Chairman GRIJALVA for all their hard work on this Omnibus Public Lands Management Act. The public lands package includes five bills critical to my district in western and southern Colorado, and we have been working on this ever since day one that I got here to Congress.

The Jackson Gulch project supplies water to the town of Mancos, the Mancos Water Conservancy District, the Mancos Rural Water Company, and it is the sole supplier of municipal water for Mesa Verde National Park. The project provides irrigation water for over 13,000 areas.

The Baca Wildlife Refuge Management Act will amend the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preservation Act of 2000 to explain the purpose and provide for the administration of the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

This legislation defines the purpose of the refuge ``to restore, enhance, and maintain wetlands, upland, riparian and other habitats for native wildlife, plant and fish species in the San Luis Valley.''

The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area will designate a national heritage area in Conejos, Costilla and Alamosa Counties. It will bring deserved attention to the rich culture, heritage and landscape of the San Luis Valley.

The Arkansas Valley Conduit will establish a 65 percent Federal cost share for the construction of the conduit, a proposed 130-mile water delivery system from Pueblo Dam to communities throughout the Arkansas River Valley. Generations of people in southeast Colorado have waited long enough for clean and safe drinking water.

The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area will conserve water and land resources in approximately 210,000 acres of federally owned land on the Uncompahgre Plateau in lands in Montrose, Delta and Mesa Counties.

[Time: 13:00]

Mr. Speaker, this is actually one of the proudest days of my legislative career. I worked side by side with my younger brother, the now Secretary of the Interior, when he was in the Senate, Ken Salazar, for the past 4 years to make these efforts a reality. This will help protect Colorado's land, water, and natural beauty for generations to come. I want to thank the chairman once again and thank you, Mr. Speaker.

1:01 PM EDT

David Wu, D-OR 1st

Mr. WU. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for H.R. 146, The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. This legislation includes many important provisions that will protect and preserve America's public land heritage. It is a compilation of bills that enjoys broad bipartisan support in both Chambers of Congress, and I hope that the majority of the House will see fit to pass this omnibus legislation today.

Included in this package are several bills that highlight my home State of Oregon's scenic and ecological diversity, including the salmon-producing [Page: H3977]

Coast Range waters of the Elk River in southeastern Oregon, the high desert badlands near Bend, the prairies overlooking the John Day River in central Oregon, and the high alpine forests of the Siskiyous.

One provision of particular importance to me adds additional land protections within the Columbia River Gorge, which I and many other Oregonians consider the crown jewel of Oregon's natural heritage. The Gorge Face wilderness additions reflect the continued commitment of this Congress to keep this remarkable area safe from inappropriate development.

I would also like to voice my support for the provisions that will protect nearly 127,000 acres around Mount Hood and almost 80 miles on nine free-flowing stretches of river, as well as create a 34,550-acre National Recreation Area. Mount Hood is one of the enduring symbols of Oregon's love of the outdoors, and this bill is an important signal to future generations that we wish to continue providing opportunities to enjoy all that nature has to give.

In these tough economic times, the protection of these natural spaces also supports Oregon's economy. Oregon's vibrant outdoor recreation industry supplies 73,000 jobs, and it injects almost $6 billion annually into Oregon's economy.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate my strong support for H.R. 146.

1:03 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to yield now to the gentleman from Arizona, the chairman of our Parks Subcommittee, who has undergone this tortuous path with us all the way, the gentleman from Arizona, the Park Subcommittee Chair, Mr. Grijalva, 3 minutes.

1:04 PM EDT

Raul Grijalva, D-AZ 7th

Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I think to some extent we need to set the record straight about this legislation. We need to be clear that this bill is about conservation and preservation of our public lands. It's about improving our water supplies in the West. It's about improving the health of our forests and creating economic opportunities for rural communities.

This legislation will also establish a new national park unit, conserve wild and scenic rivers, protect historic American battlefields where brave patriots fought and died for this Nation, and establish miles of new hiking trails and much, much more.

Bills in this package will give families places to enjoy, to enjoy outdoor recreation; it will preserve our history so the children can learn the story of America on field trips. It will protect rivers for boaters and anglers so they can enjoy it themselves.

H.R. 146 is wildly popular, both among a large bipartisan majority of the Members of Congress and among the American people. In fact, this package is so popular that those that oppose new parks, those who think protecting rivers and trails is not a good use of our time, are placed in a very difficult position. They have no choice but to try to insert issues in this debate that simply don't belong in this debate.

This is not about guns. The Court ruling that has become the crucible of discussion with this legislation regarding the second amendment, that ruling, and let me quote from it, from the judge's order, ``Because the Court finds that the final rule which was rushed by the Bush administration on their way out the door, is a product of Defendant's astoundingly flawed process, the Court holds that the Plaintiffs are highly likely to prevail on the merits of their NEPA claims. Accordingly, the Court

expresses no views on the merits of any laws or regulations related to concealed weapons or firearms generally.''

This was a ruling on a flawed process, on a process that ignored public input, that ignored transparency, and that's why that rule by the Bush administration was enjoined. It was not enjoined on the merits of the concealed weapon issue that time and time again is brought up as the ruling itself.

This bill is not about locking anything up or locking anybody out. I am told that during debate on the measure in the Rules Committee yesterday, opponents of this bill took more time talking about AIG than they did about parks and forests.

The truth is, this package of bills is as popular as mom, as apple pie, and I do not envy those few Members who have to come to the House floor today and manufacture reasons to oppose it. But let's be clear. These arguments are manufactured and should not be given any weight.

This legislation is good for the land, it's good for our Nation, and our children, and our grandchildren. They will all thank us later for passing this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, after a long, dark period where protection of our natural and cultural resources was ignored, today we can change that. I urge passage of H.R. 146.

1:07 PM EDT

Louie Gohmert Jr., R-TX 1st

Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, there are some good provisions in this bill. There have been hearings on 70 out of 170 provisions in the House and this Congress. But our esteemed and fine chairman of the committee said the arguments against this bill, in his word, are petty.

I guess when you spend $1.68 trillion, whatever we have spent already in the last few months, $10 billion can seem like petty cash. You know, 10 billion here, there. I understand it can seem like petty. But that is an argument. This is $10 billion without hearings in this House over 100 of these provisions on whether they will help the economy.

You know, we heard over and over that people are losing jobs every day. Let's do something about it. And in the meantime, we're going to go spend $10 billion in this bill; don't know that it will help the economy. Maybe eventually.

Well, how about the people that are out of work right now? How about the people that might be able to utilize some areas that won't be able to now for certain purposes?

Or like energy, for example. Oh, yes, has anybody noticed the price of gasoline is going up again, just like everybody expected it to go up. And it will go up more and more as we approach the summer.

And what is happening, what are we doing in this sensitive body that we have here in Congress? We are going to put more of it off limits, more of it off limits at a time when the price is going up, the economy is struggling, people are losing jobs, people are having their pay cut, people are allowing their pay to be cut so others don't lose their jobs.

And what are we going to do to help? By golly, we are going to put some more land off limits so we can't get the energy and help ourselves in this country.

I was talking to some people from China not long ago. And the way they look at things, they don't look at just, you know, 10 years, 100 years, they look way down the road. And as we have seen in this body, for example, last week, we just looked at what's popular today. Gee, let's have a 90 percent tax on bonuses that we should not have ever allowed in the first place if people had done what I asked and read the stinking bills before we rushed in and passed them. But I digress.

Sometimes we just look at 1 day. They look way down the road. And it was interesting to me, these individuals said, we know what the United States is doing. You keep putting your energy off limits, more and more of it. We know what you're doing. You're smart. You're smarter than somebody gives the United States credit for, they said, because we know what you're doing. You keep putting your energy off limits, knowing that other countries will use up all of the rest of the resources in the world,

and then you'll be the only country with those resources, and you'll be able to maintain your status as the one superpower in the world because you've got all the resources. You were smart enough to hold them and wait to use them until after everybody else exhausted theirs. And I wished I could say, ``You're right; we see that far down the road in this Congress.'' But it's not true. We keep hurting ourselves at the worst possible time.

So with this big bill here, Mr. Speaker, 100 provisions out of the 170 that didn't get a hearing in the House, we need to practice, and we can start now. I'm shocked. I'm outraged. I'm outraged and I'm shocked. I'm shocked and outraged, because once people start finding out what's in the bill, what all provisions didn't get a hearing [Page: H3978]

that could have been tweaked to avoid the outrages that will come, we'll need to have people saying this to save their

jobs. Some may be comforted that the Senate has had Senators--and I don't know if Senator Dodd examined all the language to make sure it was perfect, but I'm sure some Senators did. But get ready to say you're shocked and outraged.

1:11 PM EDT

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore . The time is equal on both sides. There are 9 1/4 minutes remaining for the gentleman from Washington, and there are 9 1/2 minutes remaining for the gentleman from West Virginia.

1:12 PM EDT

Brian Baird, D-WA 3rd

Mr. BAIRD. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to highlight the NOAA Underseas Research Program Act which is included in this bill, and establishes an important and proven system of undersea research techniques.

The language in the present legislation does not specifically mention the Aquarius Undersea Laboratory, and I would like to recognize the crucial and cutting-edge work done at Aquarius, and I want to mention for the record it is owned by NOAA. Therefore, I wish to clarify that whenever the legislation we are considering mentions the extramural centers and the National Institute for Science and Technology, it is understood that Aquarius is included.

In closing, I wish to commend the staff at Aquarius for the critical work they have done, and I wish to express my support for their continued research.

1:12 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentleman from Washington for recognizing the scientific contributions made by Aquarius, and I thank them for supporting the provisions in the underlying legislation that will promote the development of future innovations in undersea research technologies.

1:13 PM EDT

Rush Holt, D-NJ 12th

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources.

This bill is the kind of bill that I love. I am especially pleased that we could preserve New Jersey's heritage as one of the leaders of the industrial revolution by giving the American public the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park and the Edison National Historic Park. And I thank Chairman Rahall for bringing the bill along.

When I introduced this H.R. 146, little did I suspect that my bill to protect the battlefields of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 would grow to 1,300 pages and attract so much attention. But I am pleased that my bill to protect the battlefields of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 has been used as a vehicle to bring this important lands bill through the legislative process. However, I regret that my language to protect the battlefields of the American Revolution and the

War of 1812 has vanished.

And so, I am here to ask the chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources if I may have his assurances that he will assist me in moving this noncontroversial legislation to protect the battlefields of the War of 1812 and the American Revolution expeditiously.

[Time: 13:15]

1:14 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for his patience and willingness to work with us, and I pledge to work with him to move H.R. 1694 quickly and to work towards its passage in the other body in the near future.

1:15 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am very honored to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished subcommittee chair on our Committee on Natural Resources, the Chair of the Water Resources Subcommittee, the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Napolitano).

1:15 PM EDT

Grace Napolitano, D-CA 38th

Mrs. NAPOLITANO. Mr. Speaker, the Public Land Management Act includes 30 separate water bills that my subcommittee passed/approved with the Bureau of Reclamation, the USGS and, of course with the 17 Western States on water environment.

It authorizes conservation, water-use efficiencies and title XVI water recycling projects, addressing the aging infrastructure in the United States' 17 Western States, and allowing for the feasibility studies of many of those much needed water projects.

The West, of course, is having an unprecedented drought, and this will help not only to bring up those shovel-ready projects that will bring 500,000 acre-feet of water and thousands of jobs for the reclaimed reuse water and added storage capacity, but this will lessen a lot of the areas' reliance on costly water and unreliable sources.

We urge your vote, and hope that we will be successful in being able to get those shovel-ready projects to develop those jobs.

1:16 PM EDT

Martin Heinrich, D-NM 1st

Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. Speaker, I certainly stand in strong support of this legislation because of its importance to the New Mexico families that I represent.

The Rio Grande has been the lifeblood of our community in New Mexico for thousands of years, and for the Pueblo of Sandia, this bill will certainly make possible much needed investments in their water infrastructure and vital agricultural irrigation systems.

Further south along the Rio Grande, this bill will clarify ownership of Tingley Beach in Albuquerque, a historical gathering spot that has been revitalized into a popular zoo, a biopark, an aquarium, and numerous fishing ponds open to the public.

From east to west, this bill will reauthorize the Route 66 Corridor program, which is essential to preserving the historical character and vibrancy of our beloved Central Avenue in Albuquerque.

These improvements, along with protecting the incredible piece of New Mexico that is the Sabinoso Wilderness, will protect critical resources for New Mexican families. I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation.

1:18 PM EDT

Kathy Dahlkemper, D-PA 3rd

Mrs. DAHLKEMPER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for H.R. 146, a bill that will set aside millions of acres of public wilderness and that will create more than 1,000 miles of scenic river designations. This will provide recreation for millions of Americans while supporting the communities and industries that depend upon these precious resources.

I would also like to express my support for the amendment included by my good friend and fellow Pennsylvanian (Mr. Altmire). In our home State of Pennsylvania, we believe that the second amendment is not only a right but a way of life. Hunting and fishing are important American outdoor traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, we have an obligation not only to defend our God-given right to self-defense but to protect against any encroachment on the

rights of our sportsmen and -women. Therefore, I am proud to stand in support of Mr. Altmire's amendment, which will ensure that lands currently open to hunting, fishing, trapping, target shooting, and other forms of traditional recreation are protected.

In Congress, I will continue to stand in support of this second amendment, a fundamental right guaranteed in the Constitution. Furthermore, I will continue to oppose reductions in Federal hunting acreage, and will fight to ensure that opportunities for hunting and sport are maintained.

I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 146 with the addition of Mr. Altmire's amendment in defense of the U.S. Constitution.

1:20 PM EDT

Rob Bishop, R-UT 1st

Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I suppose it is a sense of poetic irony that Mr. Holt's language was removed when you amended his bill. I hope you can fix that at some time.

You have a pattern of individuals coming down here, speaking of good parts to this bill. There are good parts to this bill. I actually have two measures in here that, I think, are good to this bill, but it doesn't cover up the fact that, within that, there are some problems in this particular bill.

It does not cover up the fact that there are heritage areas when the Department of the Interior specifically asked us to wait until they could come up with rules on what heritage areas should be and how they should be constituted, because the way we are doing it right now is chaotic. There are elements in here that create national parks which I will visit when they include a baseball stadium, and not until.

Those national parks were actually rejected by the Park Service because they have enough of this generic portion. It did not meet the standards. It was expensive. Even though at one time they said that they might be comfortable with it, last night, in talking to a reporter, they once again stood by that analysis of that park, especially when we have $9 billion of needs in the rest of the National Park System that is yet to be met. I reject it when, in fact, some judge includes the fact that 8

months of study and of public input is not long enough or that NEPA actually has more importance than the second amendment.

I actually want to speak a little bit differently right now. I want to explain to my good friends who live east of the Rocky Mountains why I feel so passionate about this particular bill.

This is a map of the United States, and everything that is colored in red is owned by the Federal Government. You will notice it is all concentrated in the West. Even though most of our forest land is in the East, the Forest Service land is all in the West.

Does this make a difference to people? In a way, I think it does because this map illustrates the difference in education.

The States in red are the States that are having the most difficult time raising money to fund their own public education system. As you know, there is a strong correlation between the amount of public land and the difficulty in funding education. In Utah, it is a common statement. We will always simply say: The reason we are having such a hard time in funding education is we do not control enough of our land.

If the Federal Government even paid at the lowest tax rate for the land that it owns in the State of Utah, that would be $116 million every year. That does not count government funding; it is just for the education portion--$116 million that we would get every year. When decisions are made in the Department of the Interior that take leases off the land, that is a $3 million cut to education in the State of Utah, not only counting the State trust lands that develop money for education but above

those lands that now become sterile at the same time.

The New York Times recently wrote an article in which they compared a school district in Utah and one in Wyoming, across the border. The one in Wyoming is awash with money, and will get more money in the stimulus package than the district in Utah. They said: Well, that is simply an anomaly of the distribution formulas that we use. I really don't care about the distribution formula. The amount of Federal money that goes to education in Utah only rates at about 7 percent. What is significant is

why the State of Utah has less money to begin with, and it goes back to the issue of resources.

This chart shows you the difference in teachers' salaries between the two States of Wyoming and Montana. Wyoming starts their teachers at $20,000 a year higher than Montana's. Why? Because Wyoming is much more aggressive at the way they develop their resources. Even though this particular bill, once again, takes resource land off the table in Wyoming, threatening them, acknowledged by the chairman who says it is not a problem, it could, indeed, be a problem, but for us in Utah, well, this is

a problem that we still face.

This is the State of Utah. Everything that is a color is owned by the Federal Government. Now, this is the problem that we simply have. The problem we simply have is that two of the three most important decisions recently made by the Interior Department also affect the resources that are in Utah that we need desperately to fund our education system, but when you create more wild and scenic areas in the West, you make it much more difficult for us to fund our education system. When you create

more wild and scenic areas in the East, you cut into the PILT money that goes into the West, which is necessary to fund our education system.

We have yet to discuss the fundamental issue of the role of Federal ownership of this land--if it is, indeed, appropriate, if it is right, if it should be more or if it should be less or if it should be balanced between the West and the East.

I'm sorry for my experience in the legislature in Utah. We have difficulties in Utah in being able to fund our roads and to pay for our colleges and to pay for our public education, and it goes back to this basic fact: We are not just creating nice, pretty vistas again. We have an ancillary harm that takes place to real kids. I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. My kids in Utah are more important to me than a park that is created that the National Park Service does not want. It is more important to me than

a wild and scenic river that is created when it violates the standards of the Wild and Scenic River Act. My kids are more important to me than heritage areas that are chaotically done because my kids' future is harmed by these decisions. Even though those who create these decisions are well-intentioned and well-meaning, my kids' decisions and my kids' futures are still controlled by what Nelson Rockefeller used to say is the deadening hand of bureaucracy.

I realize that this particular bill has had more procedural twists than Lombard Street, but at the same time, there are many provisions in this bill that would easily pass if they stood alone, and there are provisions in this bill that would not. There is no reason we need to lump all of these things together.

1:26 PM EDT

Rob Bishop, R-UT 1st

Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, Satchel Paige used to say, ``Just throw strikes. Home plate don't move.''

We do not need to have this omnibus bill to go through these particular procedures, and my kids are worth fighting for: They are worth fighting the provisions of this bill that would not pass if they were standing on their own. That is the problem. That is the problem, and that is why I am passionate.

1:27 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I listened to my good friend from Utah. You know, the irony is that all the lands we are talking about are already publicly owned. They are not on the tax rolls. They have been publicly owned since the United States first acquired them. We give these states 25 percent of timber receipts, 50 percent of oil and gas, and Federal payment in lieu of taxes (PILT).

I come from one of those States where there are some serious questions about the Federal balance of resources, but I just want to say that adding the 126,000 acres and 80 miles of wild and scenic rivers has no effect on the revenue flow to our State. In fact, I would be prepared to make the argument that having this certainty, having this enhanced protection, is actually going to add value. It is going to protect water resources. It is going to encourage tourism. It is going to enhance both the

environment and our economy.

That is why my colleague GREG WALDEN, and I, spent 7 years on this piece of legislation. We had the bipartisan support of former Republican Senator Smith and Senator Wyden and new Senator Merkley. We had Native Americans, environmentalists, local government, bicyclists--a wide range of people who came together--realizing this is a vision for the future.

Now, Mr. Chairman, you have put together a piece of legislation that goes [Page: H3980]

far beyond preserving our special places in Oregon. It is an opportunity not only to save hundreds of thousands of acres across America, but it is an opportunity to develop an approach where we can come together. This legislation is going to get broad bipartisan support, and I think it is going to show a way where we can protect more of America's special places and not disadvantage

anybody economically but actually strengthen the economy, strengthen the environment and preserve these areas for generations to come.

I thank the committee for the work they have done. I look forward to this bipartisan support.

1:29 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am very honored to yield 2 minutes to the distinguished dean of the House of Representatives, the gentleman from Michigan, my dear friend and an individual who has helped us tremendously in not only crafting this legislation but so much of the legislation that passes through the Congress, the Honorable John Dingell.

(Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

1:29 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am very honored to yield 2 minutes to the distinguished dean of the House of Representatives, the gentleman from Michigan, my dear friend and an individual who has helped us tremendously in not only crafting this legislation but so much of the legislation that passes through the Congress, the Honorable John Dingell.

(Mr. DINGELL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

1:30 PM EDT

John D. Dingell Jr., D-MI 15th

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I begin by thanking the great chairman of the committee, my dear friend from West Virginia, Mr. Nicky Joe Rahall. Thank you. This is a great bill, and I rise in support of it. And I thank you for what you have done for me and my people in Monroe and Monroe County, Michigan, in setting up the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in this legislation. This is a proposal which has the strongest possible support from all of the people in the area. It will preserve

a battleground from the War of 1812, which was a major engagement west of the Appalachian Mountains where the Americans suffered a devastating military defeat. Out of better than 1,000 American regulars and militia who participated in the battle, only 33 escaped death or capture.

The future President of the United States, then-General William Henry Harrison, described the loss at the River Raisin as a ``national calamity.''

But it went beyond this. That was the battle which became the battle cry in the War of 1812. And it is that which probably led to the saving for the United States of all of the lands west of the Appalachians and certainly the Great Lakes Basin.

The park designation is so important to my people in the local community that they will give the land necessary for this to the Park Service without any compensation or charge. And this is certainly something which is important to us because this kind of local support is going to lead to an extraordinary relationship between the Park Service and the people in the area where volunteers will come forward to help make this park a tremendous success.

So I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. I commend and I thank my dear friend, the chairman of the committee, for his leadership, persistence and hard work. Getting this legislation to this point where it is going to the White House is an extraordinary accomplishment and shows extraordinary dedication and persistence by my dear friend, the chairman.

I want to say that this is going to be a great piece of legislation. It is a great event in the history of the country, and I am proud of my dear friend for the leadership that he has shown. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1:32 PM EDT

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, in my opening remarks, I talked a bit about process, that we seem to have a pattern in this new Congress of taking up bills like this that are not fully vetted. This is just the latest example of that. I hope it is the last, but I am not holding my breath.

But I also made an observation in my opening remarks that there are enough individual bills in here to cover enough individual congressional districts that this bill will probably pass, and I suspect that it probably will.

I listened very intently to all of my friends on both sides of the aisle that spoke in favor of this bill. In every one of the projects they talked about, at least one way or the other, they suggested that there is a lot of work at home, there is a lot of vetting on that. And I totally agree.

When I went to the Rules Committee last night to try to address some of the problems I had, none of those projects that the Members on the other side talked about were what I was talking about with what I had problems with this bill. And that gets us then back to the point that we are making. On those areas where there is disagreement, in the people's House, Mr. Speaker, we should have an opportunity to discuss the differences and then have a vote and find out which side prevails. But all we

heard today on debate on this was those that had good projects. I certainly don't argue with that. I mentioned I have three of them in here myself.

And so, the process, I guess, is what disturbs me more than anything else. The issue that I had a concern with was the issue of the judge's decision last week on second amendment rights. Nobody talked to defend that. The issue I had was the language that was taken out as to homeland security environmental concerns. Nobody came down to the floor to discuss that or defend that position. I raised concerns about the interpretation of people with disabilities having access to our wilderness areas.

Nobody came down to the floor to discuss that.

Those are the issues that we should have had a discussion on, not the issues that everybody agreed upon. Had we gone through normal process, that probably would have been vetted. There probably would have been a compromise worked out so that we could have resolved the issues for everybody and a bill like this truly could have passed with well-overwhelming support.

But as it is, Mr. Speaker, because it is a bill in which a lot was vetted, in which there are a lot of unanswered questions and unintended consequences--which we see is becoming a pattern in this Congress by taking up bills that don't get a lot of time to be looked at--we will probably come back and have to make some changes. In fact, I would not be surprised that there will be a bill to address the issue of the judge's decision very shortly. I bet probably there will be a bill that will clarify

the border security. Well, we could have done that with this lands bill.

So, Mr. Speaker, even though I have pieces of legislation in here, I am going to urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this bill.

With that, I yield back my time.