Washington Congressman Outflanked in Monuments' Creation

By Tom Bacon

Washington GOP Congressman Doc Hastings was outflanked by some of his Democratic colleagues and President Obama today Monday in creation of five new national monuments. Hastings isn’t pleased.
Hastings, who chairs the U-S House Committee on Natural Resources, grumbled that the president is dictating that the government spend money it doesn't have on property it doesn't even own.

One of the five areas designated by President Obama's order is  land in Washington's San Juan Islands, land which is already federally owned. Washington Senator Maria Cantwell asked for the monument designation in the San Juans after it became apparent that her bill to create a National Conservation Area was dead on arrival in Hasting's House committee.

He refused to schedule a hearing on it. Hastings' complaint about spending money on property the government doesn't own referred to protection for 11-hundred acres in the Brandywine Valley on the Delaware-Pennsylvania border, an historic area that was a key gateway in the Revolutionary War.

Other sites in the president's declaration are in New Mexico, Ohio and Maryland.

President Obama used his authority under a 1906 law which was used by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect the Grand Canyon and Washington's Olympic Mountains.
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