Natural Resources Committee - The Resources Roundup
The Latest Emails
January 17, 2014
Committee Approves Motion Authorizing Chairman to Issue Subpoenas
On Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee voted 26-14 to approve a motion to authorize the Chairman to issue subpoenas for the production of documents and to compel individuals to appear before the Committee on four specific matters within the Committee's jurisdiction. They include:
Implementation of the Secure Rural Schools program;
The Department of the Interior's decision and the process to rewrite the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule;
Implementation and enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act; and
Apparent conflicts of interest by current and former Department of the Interior employees in connection with their responsibilities for administration of public lands generally.
"If the Administration will decide to fully cooperate, then I would be happy to never issue subpoenas. I remain hopeful that they will do so," said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. "Subpoenas are not the preferred option, and I don't want to be forced to have to compel testimony and information from the Administration. But if this is the path the Administration chooses to take, if they refuse to be transparent about their actions and decisions, then we will be left with no other choice."
Committee Issues Report on Obama Administration's Retroactive Sequestration Cuts to SRS Funds White House Office of Management and Budget Ordered Sequester of SRS over USA Opposition
The House Natural Resources Committee released an interim Majority staff report this week detailing information uncovered during the Committee's ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration's decision to retroactively apply 2013 sequestration cuts to 2012 Secure Rural School (SRS) funds that had already been distributed. The report, entitled "A Less Secure Future for Rural Schools: An Investigation into the Obama Administration's Questionable Application of the Sequester to the Secure Rural Schools Program," highlights the Committee's investigation and preliminary findings based on internal emails and documents that weresubpoenaed by the Committee in September 2013.
Click here for emails and document obtained by the Committee.
@NatResources Tweet of the Week
Obama Admin: Rural Counties Still on the Hook to Repay SRS Funds used for Teachers, Police Officers
During Tuesday's House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on the Obama Administration's decision to retroactively apply 2013 sequestration cuts to 2012 Secure Rural School (SRS) funds, the Obama Administration testified that states that have not repaid the funds may have them taken out of this year's payments.
Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) asked Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the USDA Robert Bonnie if he could confirm that the Administration would not withhold this amount from the FY2013 payments that will soon be distributed. Mr. Bonnie said he "could not confirm" and noted that reducing it from upcoming payments is "on the table."
"There should be no retribution towards states that didn't repay the fund, not one dime should be withheld. There is bipartisan agreement on the Committee for this position and it's concerning that the Administration refuses to listen to these bipartisan calls," said Chairman Hastings.
Currently awaiting Senate action, House passed H.R. 1526 will restore active forest management,create over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs, and provide stable funding for counties to use for education and infrastructure.
The House Natural Resources Committee is conducting oversight on a variety of issues including the rewrite of coal production regulations, the office of the Inspector General, and closed door ESA settlement agreements.
For more on the Committee's oversight efforts, visit our website